European Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 938–946 | Cite as

Are contrast media required for (68)Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT in patients with neuroendocrine tumours of the abdomen?

  • Marius E. Mayerhoefer
  • Matthias Schuetz
  • Silvia Magnaldi
  • Michael Weber
  • Siegfried Trattnig
  • Georgios Karanikas



To determine the value of intravenous contrast medium in (68)Ga-DOTA-Phe(1)-Tyr(3)-octreotide – (68)Ga-DOTATOC – PET/CT for the detection of abdominal neuroendocrine tumours (NET).


In fifty-five patients with known or suspected NETs of the abdomen PET/CT was performed on a 64-row multi-detector hybrid system. For PET, 150 MBq of (68)Ga-DOTATOC were injected intravenously. Full-dose unenhanced, and arterial- and venous-phase contrast-enhanced CT images were obtained. Unenhanced and contrast-enhanced PET/CT images were evaluated separately for the presence of NETs on a per-region basis, by two separate teams with different experience levels.


On unenhanced PET/CT, sensitivity and specificity ranged from 89.3% (junior team) to 92% (senior team), and 99.1% (junior team) to 99.2% (senior team), respectively. On contrast-enhanced PET/CT, sensitivity and specificity ranged from 92.3% (junior team) to 98.5% (senior team), and 99.4% (junior team) to 99.5% (senior team), respectively. These increases in sensitivity and specificity, due to the use of contrast-enhanced images, were statistically significant (P < 0.05).


Intravenous contrast medium only moderately, aleit significantly, improves the sensitivity of (68)Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT for the detection of abdominal NETs, and hardly affects specificity. Thus, while contrast enhancement is justified to achieve maximum sensitivity, unenhanced images may be sufficient for routine PET/CT in NET patients.

Key Points

Contrast media moderately improve the sensitivity of (68)Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT for neuroendocrine tumours.

Contrast media hardly affect the specificity of (68)Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT for neuroendocrine tumours.

Unenhanced PET/CT is sufficient for routine imaging of patients with neuroendocrine tumours.


PET/CT (68)Ga-DOTATOC NET Contrast media 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marius E. Mayerhoefer
    • 1
  • Matthias Schuetz
    • 2
  • Silvia Magnaldi
    • 1
  • Michael Weber
    • 1
  • Siegfried Trattnig
    • 1
  • Georgios Karanikas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, PET/CT CenterMedical University of Vienna, Vienna General HospitalViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear Medicine, PET/CT CenterMedical University of Vienna, Vienna General HospitalViennaAustria

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