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Carcinoid tumor removal done, scheduled for octreotide scan and EGD. Is there any definitive test for carcinoid/NET tumors?

Hi, thank you in advance for your time. I am asking the question about my husband who recently had a possible carcinoid tumor removed from his stomach about 2 weeks ago. We have since discovered that his gastrin level is 3500, liver panel normal and he is scheduled for an Octreotide scan next week and an EGD/US the following week. I have read some of the posts related to this thread and it appears that the Carcinoid or Gastrinoma tumor diagnosis can be quite confusing and elusive. It started with a vision loss in one eye about 4 weeks ago, labs were done, CBC showed hgb drop from 14.5 to 11.5. He has had a MRI of head, basically neg with minute infarct in one area, so eye Dr. dx with Optic Nerve Inflammation. Only other symptom is significant fatigue. He also has been getting the Vit B12 shots for pernicious anemia for about 10 years. The GI Dr. recommended canceling the Octreotide and instead having an Abdominal MRI on Tuesday. Have you seen this before and it seems that several other people on this previous blog experienced the same thing but no real diagnosis. Is there a definitive test for Carcinoid/NET tumors and or should we be thinking more along the lines of the MEN 1 tumors?
Asked On : Tue, 29 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  107
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I am a nuclear medicine specialist. In terms of diagnosis of a carcinoid tumour, pathological examination is the definite test. If you have sample of the tissue then a pathological examination will provide all the details of the nature of disease. Close to pathological examination, an Octreotide scan is the next best thing. MRI can detect tumors but octreotide scan goes a step further and charecterizes the lesion with respect to expression of somatostatin receptors which other wise can only be commented on a pathological examination.

There is another type of scanning called the DOTATATE PET scan. This is not approved in US if you are residing there, but the rest of the world has been doing this procedure for more than half a decade now and it produced wonderful results. It is highly sensitive form of octreotide scanning with the advantage of added CT images.

You can try that modality. It also gives information of staging of the disease as well.

Hope this was helpful.

Best wishes.
Answered: Tue, 26 Feb 2013
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