DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3701-9Pages: 1-7

68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT in recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma: a lesion-by-lesion comparison with 111In-octreotide SPECT/CT and conventional imaging

1. Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Imaging Department


3. Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Multiple Neoplasia Outpatiet Clinic

Correspondence to:
Lilian Yuri Itaya Yamaga
Tel: 551121510489




The aim of this study was to prospectively compare the detection rate of 68Ga-DOTATATE PET-CT with 111In-octreotide SPECT-CT and conventional imaging (CI) in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) patients with increased calcitonin (Ctn) levels but negative CI after thyroidectomy.


Fifteen patients with raised Ctn levels and/or CI evidence of recurrence underwent 68Ga-DOTATATE PET-CT, 111In-octreotide SPECT-CT and CI. Histopathology, CI and biochemical/clinical/imaging follow-up were used as the reference standard. PET/CT, SPECT/CT and CI were compared in a lesion-based and organ-based analysis.


PET/CT evidenced recurrence in 14 of 15 patients. There were 13 true positive (TP), 1 true negative (TN), 1 false positive (FP) and no false negative (FN) cases, resulting in a sensitivity and accuracy of 100% and 93%. SPECT/CT was positive in 6 of 15 cases. There were 6 TP, 2 TN, 7 FN and no FP cases, resulting in a sensitivity of 46% and accuracy of 53%. CI procedures detected tumor lesions in 14 of 15 patients. There were 13 TP, 1TN, 1 FP and no FN cases with a sensitivity of 100% and accuracy of 93%.

A significantly higher number of lesions was detected by PET/CT (112 lesions, p = 0.005) and CI (109 lesions, p = 0.005) in comparison to SPECT/CT (16 lesions). There was no significant difference between PET/CT and CI for the total number of detected lesions (p = 0.734). PET/CT detected more lesions than SPECT/CT regardless of the organ. PET/CT detected more bone lesions but missed some neck nodal metastases evidenced by CI. The number of lesions per region demonstrated by PET/CT and CI were similar in the other sites.


68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT is superior to 111In-octreotide SPECT/CT for the detection of recurrent MTC demonstrating a significantly higher number of lesions. 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT showed a superior detection rate compared to CI in demonstrating bone metastases.

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  • Accepted: Apr 3, 2017
  • Online: Apr 20, 2017

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