OBJECTIVE: In the present study, the diagnostic value of somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS) was evaluated in the preoperative workup in patients with pancreatic duct cancers and islet cell tumors, as well as in the follow-up of these patients. METHODS: Twenty-six patients with suspected primary pancreatic duct cancers and 48 patients with islet cell tumors were studied. The SRS was performed using the radionuclide-labeled somatostatin analogue 111In-octreotide. Another group of 12 patients who were still alive more than 3 years after pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas also underwent SRS. RESULTS: In 31 (65%) of 48 patients, the primary pancreatic islet cell tumor as well as its often previously not yet recognized metastases could be visualized. In contrast, none of the 26 pancreatic adenocarcinomas or their metastases could be seen. In 5 of 12 patients who were alive more than 3 years after pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic duct adenocarcinomas, metastatic lesions were visualized at SRS. In retrospect, these patients were not operated on for adenocarcinomas but for "nonfunctioning" islet cell tumors. CONCLUSIONS: The present study supports the concept that SRS has a place in the preoperative differential diagnosis of islet cell tumors and pancreatic duct cancers as well as in the follow-up, especially in those cases in which no tumor histologic analysis was obtained, or the pathologic examination of the tumor tissue had not included special staining procedures for neuroendocrine characteristics. Our results also indicate that the evaluation of the results of investigations on the role of surgery or radiation therapy and chemotherapy or both in pancreatic duct cancer have to be interpreted with caution, if no histologic analysis and staining for neuroendocrine characteristics was performed.

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Annals of Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Eijck, C., Lamberts, S., Lemaire, L. C., Jeekel, H., Bosman, F., Reubi, J.-C., … Krenning, E. (1996). The use of somatostatin receptor scintigraphy in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic duct cancers and islet cell tumors. Annals of Surgery. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/8618