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01.11.2010 | Original Article | Ausgabe 9/2010

Annals of Nuclear Medicine 9/2010

Technetium-99m depreotide imaging by single photon emission tomography/low resolution computed tomography in malignant lymphomas: comparison with gallium-67 citrate

Annals of Nuclear Medicine > Ausgabe 9/2010
Dimitris J. Apostolopoulos, Nikolaos I. Papandrianos, Argiris Symeonidis, Tryfon Spyridonidis, Sotiria Alexiou, Petros Zampakis, Christos Savvopoulos, Pavlos J. Vassilakos, Panagiota Matsouka



Previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of targeting lymphoma lesions with somatostatin receptor binding agents, mainly with In-111-pentetreotide. In the present work another somatostatin analog, Tc-99m depreotide, is investigated.


One-hundred and six patients, 47 with Hodgkin’s (HL) and 59 with various types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), were imaged with both Tc-99m depreotide and Ga-67 citrate. Planar whole-body and single photon emission tomography/low resolution computerized tomography (SPECT/CT) images were obtained. A total of 142 examinations were undertaken at different phases of the disease. Depreotide and gallium findings were compared visually and semi-quantitatively, with reference to the results of conventional work-up and the patients’ follow-up data.


In most HL, intermediate- and low-grade B-cell, as well as in T-cell NHL, depreotide depicted more lesions than Ga-67 and/or exhibited higher tumor uptake. The opposite was true in aggressive B-cell NHL. However, there were notable exceptions in all lymphoma subtypes. During initial staging, 93.3% of affected lymph nodes above the diaphragm, 100% of inguinal nodes and all cases with splenic infiltration were detected by depreotide. On the basis of depreotide findings, 32% of patients with early-stage HL were upstaged. However, advanced HL and NHL cases were frequently downstaged, due to low sensitivity for abdominal lymph node (22.7%), liver (45.5%) and bone marrow involvement (36.4%). Post-therapy, depreotide detected 94.7% of cases with refractory disease or recurrence. Its overall specificity was moderate (57.1%). Rebound thymic hyperplasia, various inflammatory processes and sites of unspecific uptake were the commonest causes of false positive findings. The combination of depreotide and gallium enhanced sensitivity (100%), while various false positive results of either agent could be avoided.


Except perhaps for early-stage HL, Tc-99m depreotide as a stand-alone imaging modality has limited value for the initial staging of lymphomas. Post-therapy, however, depreotide scintigraphy seems useful in the evaluation of certain anatomic areas, particularly in non-aggressive lymphoma types. The combination with Ga-67 potentially enhances sensitivity and specificity. If fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography is not available or in case of certain indolent lymphoma types, Tc-99m depreotide may have a role as an adjunct to conventional imaging procedures.

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