In vivo detection of somatostatin receptors in patients with functionless pituitary adenomas by means of a radioiodinated analog of somatostatin ([123I]SDZ 204-090)

Giovanni Faglia, Nicoletta Bazzoni, Anna Spada, Maura Arosio, Bruno Ambrosi, Franco Spinelli, Roberto Sara, Chiara Bonino, Fabio Lunghi

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The recent availability of a Tyr3-substituted octreotide (SDZ 204-090) for radioiodination has allowed somatostatin (SRIH) receptor binding to be studied in vivo, and receptor-positive tumors of different origins to be visualized with a γ-camera. This prompted us to investigate whether this compound could be used for external imaging of functionless pituitary adenomas displaying SRIH receptors. Eight patients with functionless pituitary adenomas, three patients with acromegaly, and three with macroprolactinoma were injected iv with 123I-labeled Tyr3-octreotide and then scanned with a γ-camera. Positive scans were obtained in the three acromegalics and in two of the eight patients with functionless pituitary tumors. The patients with macroprolactinoma had negative scans. The diagnosis of functionless pituitary adenomas was confirmed by light and electron microscopic examination as well as immunocytochemical studies. In vitro binding of [125I]Tyr11-SRIH to cell membranes was evaluated in four functionless and three GH-secreting adenomas removed from seven of the patients. All of the GH-secreting as well as one of the four functionless adenomas had high affinity SRIH-binding sites, without differences in number or affinity, whereas SRIH-binding sites were not detected in the others. Positive scans were observed only in patients bearing tumors with high affinity SRIH-binding sites. In conclusion, [123I]Tyr3-octreotide appears to be a promising tool for singling out, in vivo, patients with functionless pituitary tumors displaying SRIH receptors who might potentially benefit from octreotide treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-856
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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