The role of radiolabeled somatostatin analogs in adrenal imaging

Simone Maurea, Secondo Lastoria, Corradina Caracò, Michele Klain, Paola Varrella, Wanda Acampa, Pietro Muto, Marco Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the role of radiolabeled somatostatin analogs (SAs) in adrenal imaging. We evaluated 15 patients (6 men and 9 women, mean age 47 ± 17 years) with imaging-detected adrenal tumors. Patient population was divided into two groups on the basis of the nature of adrenal lesions. Group 1 consisted of patients with benign adrenal lesions (n = 10). Group 2 consisted of patients with malignant adrenal lesions (n = 5). Pathology examinations were obtained in 13 cases: 7 pheochromocytomas, 2 adenomas, 2 cysts, 1 carcinoma, and 1 fibro-histiocytoma. One patient had a proven diagnosis of non-small-cell lung cancer associated with the presence of a right adrenal mass. The last patient had a clinical diagnosis of Werner syndrome associated with the presence of a large left adrenal mass. All patients underwent scintigraphic studies using radiolabeled SAs, of which indium-111 (In-111) pentetreotide was used in 11 cases and technetium-99m (Tc-99m)-labeled peptides (P-587 or P-829) were used in the remaining four cases. No significant labeled SAs uptake was observed in the majority (8 of 10, 80%) of the benign adrenal lesions (Group 1); however, increased uptake was found in two benign pheochromocytomas. Conversely, significant labeled SAs uptake was observed in the majority (4 of 5, 80%) of the malignant adrenal lesions (Group 2); however, the last lesion (carcinoma) did not show abnormal uptake. Results of this study show that the majority of benign adrenal tumors do not concentrate radiolabeled SAs; conversely, the majority of malignant adrenal lesions show significant SAs uptake, suggesting the presence of somatostatin receptors. This finding may allow the use of somatostatin as a treatment agent in malignant adrenal tumors. Thus, the main role of labeled SAs in adrenal imaging consists of lesion characterization rather than tumor detection and localization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-680
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996


  • adrenal tumors
  • indium-111
  • receptor imaging
  • scintigraphy
  • somatostatin analogs
  • technetium-99m

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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