Combined Quantification of 18F-FDG and 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT for Prognosis in High-Grade Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

Published:November 23, 2021DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      High-grade gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (G3 GEP-NENs) are pathologically classified into well differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (G3 NETs) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (G3 NECs). Using a novel parameter, we examined the prognostic value of 18F-FDG and 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT quantification in comparison to pathologic assessment in G3 GEP-NENs.

      Materials and Methods

      A total of 31 patients with G3 GEP-NENs were reviewed. For each patient, the SUVmax on 18F-FDG and 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT were used to calculate the FDG-DOTATATE-Z (FDZ) score: a continuous parameter that increases with 68Ga-DOTATATE uptake and decreases with 18F-FDG uptake. The variation in the FDZ score with respect to pathologic variables was examined. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were performed to evaluate the effect of FDZ score on overall survival. An external cohort of 21 patients was used for validation.


      The FDZ score was significantly higher in G3 NETs compared to G3 NECs (p<0.001), and was inversely correlated with Ki67 index (R2=0.33, p<0.001). Patients in the FDZ>0.05 group showed significantly longer survival compared to those in the FDZ≤0.05 group, with median of 34.9 vs. 12.0 months (p<0.001). On univariate regression, FDZ>0.05 (p=0.005), well differentiated disease (p=0.044), and lower Ki67 index (p=0.042) were predictors of survival. On multivariate regression, only FDZ>0.05 could independently predict longer survival with HR=0.16 (p=0.018), which was reproduced in the external validation cohort.


      Combined quantification of 18F-FDG and 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT into a novel parameter, the FDZ score, reflects the pathologic characteristics of G3 GEP-NENs and is a prognostic indicator of overall survival independent of differentiation.

      Key Words

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