About this Procedure
An Octreotide study is a diagnostic nuclear medicine procedure. It involves the injection of a radioactive tracer that attaches to the somatostatin receptors of certain tumors. Images are then obtained to see where the radiotracer was taken up.
Octreotide Study (PDF)
How Does It Work?A small amount of the radioactive material (Indium-111 pentreotide) is injected into your vein. After the injection, images of your body will be taken at various intervals over the next 2 to 3 days.
How Do I Prepare?
- Sometimes you are required to stop taking certain medicines and/or Somatostatin/Octreotide therapy prior to having this study done. Please talk with your doctor for instructions.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout this study.
- Take a mild laxative the night before the injection and each night before imaging is done.
- Insulinoma patients will have an IV line placed to receive a sugar solution just before and during administration of the radioactive tracer, to avoid a hypoglycemic reaction.
What Can I Expect?
How is the study performed?
- When you arrive, the technologist will review the procedure with you and tell the attending doctor of your arrival. Insulinoma patients will have their blood sugar level checked.
- The radioactive tracer will be injected into a vein. The technologist will then remove the IV. After that, you are allowed to leave.
- You will return about 4 hours later for images to be taken of your body. You need to hold very still. The imaging takes about 1 to 3 hours, depending on what images the doctor requests. You will be scanned head to toe. The doctor may also request 3-D images to be taken, fused with a CT scan. The camera is very quiet.
- You will return the next day (about 24 hours later) for more imaging. This session will last about 1 to 3 hours, depending on what images the doctor requests.
- You may be asked to return for one more session of imaging about 48 hours after the injection is given. This imaging session will also last about 1 to 3 hours, depending on what images the doctor requests.
What will I feel during the study?
Most people feel no different than normal during this study. Insulinoma patients may have a drop in blood sugar.
Your ResultsWhen the test is over, the nuclear medicine doctor will review your images, prepare a written report, and discuss the results with your doctor.
After that, your doctor will talk with you about the results and your treatment options. Talk with your doctor to find out whether or not you will need to restart any medicines that you stopped for this study.