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PET-CT-scan with Ga68-dotatate

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Important: aPlease read the following information in this letter carefully.

Purpose of the 68-Ga-DOTATATE PET-CT scan

A PET-CT will provide information about the anatomy and function of the examined organs and tissues. These organs will be visible after injection of a radioactive compound or tracer. By performing this scan it is possible to detect abnormalities and find out the extent of these abnormalities. No harmful side effects have been reported after injection of this radioactive tracer. A part of the injected tracer will leave the body via the kidneys and urine. The remaining radioactivity will disappear within a few hours.


  • For the quality of the scan, it is important to drink a sufficient amount of fluid. Please drink one liter of water in the period of two hours before the scan. You may go to the toilet normally before the scan.
  • The radioactive tracer has a short half-life and will be specially prepared for you. Therefore, it is essential to be in time for the scheduled appointment. Otherwise, it may be necessary to cancel the scan!
  • If you use Sandostatine LAR (10,20 or 30 mg), Somatuline Autosolution (60,90 of 120 mg), or similar medication (long-acting), please have your last injections at least 4 weeks before the scan.
  • If you use Sandostatine, or similar injections (short-acting), Please consult first with your physician if it’s possible to stop these medications for 24 hours prior the scan. Immediately after completion of the scan you may resume your medication.
  • Other drugs may be continued normally.

The examination

You will get a temporary intravenous access cannula in your arm. After injection of the radioactive tracer, you will be guided to the resting area. During a one hour waiting period, the tracer can reach its targets and be sufficiently cleared form the rest of the body. You may read a book or listen to music (bring your own MP3 player) during this hour. After the waiting period you will be guided to the PET-CT room. It is very important to lie still during the scanning procedure. The duration of the scan will be approximately half an hour. Besides the 68Ga-DOTATATE PET scan a (low-radiation) CT scan will be made for technical purposes. This is not a regular diagnostic CT scan.

Your specialist may have requested a diagnostic CT in combination with the PET-CT. The contrast agent for this diagnostic CT will be administered through intravenous access. A lot of people get a warm sensation during the infusion of the contrast agent. This is normal and will resolve fast.

Please note: there is a small risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast agent. If you had an allergic contrast reaction in the past, it is important to report this before the CT scan will be made. In most cases a new allergic reaction may be prevented by giving you anti-allergic medication before the CT scan.

Duration of the examination

The total examination will take approximately 2.5 hours in total.

After the examination

There will be no restrictions. You may go home or go to work after the scan.

Pregnancy and lactation

It is important to let us know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Please contact our department if this is the case.


You may be accompanied by an attending adult. This person is not allowed to be present during the waiting period after injection and during the scan procedure itself because of the radiation levels. It is not allowed to bring a pregnant person with you.

Cancellation of the appointment

If you are unable to attend, please contact your department before 10 o’clock in the morning, one day before the scheduled PET-CT appointment.

Information 'Gallium dotatate PET'

Your doctor has requested a "PET scan with Gallium-68-DOTA octreotate" (in short: "Gallium-dotatate PET").

The Gallium-68-DOTA octreotate is currently a non-registered product for medical use in the Netherlands. It is specially made at the Erasmus MC. Non-registered product can be used if the existing methods are insufficient and there are no good alternatives.

The current method to find out more about your disease is the "somatostatin scan" or "octreotide scan". To make this scan, the registered substance “OctreoscanTM” is administered by injection. With the scan (s) made on the day (or days) after the injection, certain disease processes in your body can be seen.

The new research method, Gallium octreotate PET, is still under development. There is already a lot of experience with the product in the world, but the research has not yet been completed. Therefore Gallium octreotate is not yet officially registered. It is known that the PET scan after injection with the Gallium octreotate can generally make better imaging and show more than the OctreoscanTM. For some patients, this means that a more accurate finding can be seen, or a better diagnosis. As a result, it is possible that another, better treatment can be chosen by your doctor.

For new products under development, the risks and side effects are generally not known in advance. However, the octreotate labeled to Lutetium instead of Gallium has been used in high doses for over 10 years in patient therapy. The side effects that sometimes occur are due to the high radioactivity of Lutetium-177 and not to the octreotate. In the many scientific publications from other hospitals in the world where the method with Gallium octreotate PET is described, there have never been any side effects. Also with substances that are very similar to Gallium octreotate and sometimes used for more than 20 years, no serious side effects are known.

Because of the data known so far, we consider Gallium octreotate as a very safe product, with better imaging than with the current, registered method.


If you have any questions after reading this information letter, please contact the department of Nuclear Medicine, phone number: +3110-7040132. It is also possible to ask the technician questions before the scan.

Where can I find the department?

The department of Nuclear Medicine is located in the “Centrumlocatie” in building section Cb3, on the third floor. From the entrance, please follow the instructions to building department Ca, then go the third floor with the elevator and follow the signs “Nucleaire geneeskunde, PET-CT”.

How to travel to the Erasmus MC

The easiest way to reach the Erasmus MC is by public transport. You will avoid parking problems by doing this. More information about how to travel: