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Things to Know About DOTA PET CT Scan

by Justin

Cancer is a disease which is spread worldwide. Their behaviour depends on the type of cancer. The neuroendocrine tumours or the NETs, are hard to see and detect, as they can grow anywhere in the body for eg. They can be found in , pancreas, intestines, stomach or more. It is also difficult to detect the tumours at an early stage even with imaging, but the gallium-68 DOTA PET Scan stands out and is capable of detecting these tumours successfully.

What Is A DOTA PET Scan?

The DOTA PET CT scan or Gallium-68 DOTATATE scan is used for the detection and diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). The DOTA PET CT scan is a highly sensitive test and can detect even the smallest lesions even at quite early stage, which aids a precise and appropriate treatment plan to be set in place for a successful treatment response.a DOTA PET SCAN is a radioactive scan (68Ga) tagged with DOTATATE that mimics somatostatin, a hormone and bonds to the tumour receptors to highlight NET.

What A DOTA PET SCAN Can Detect?

This scan is done to diagnose neuroendocrine tumours, which affects both the nervous system and the endocrine glands, hence the acronym NETs. You  might be injected a radioactive substance called tracer into your vein which is Ga-68 DOTAtate. Other cancers consume glucose, but NETs have receptors for somatostatin, which is a hormone. Most of the tumours are not detected on routine imaging techniques such as FDG-PET CT scans.Other previously used cancer imaging techniques which have been used to detect and diagnose NETs took 4-6 hours and even 3-4 days. Whereas, the DOTA PET CT Scan offers higher precision and accuracy of NET detection. It also offers patient comfort due to the lesser amount of time which is taken to conduct the scan.

What Are The Benefits Of A DOTA PET CT Scan?

DOTA PET CT Scan offers several advantages to the patient and the doctor which makes it a very efficient choice of imaging technique in diagnosing NETs. some of the advantages are as under-

  • Scanning time– The DOTA PET CT Scan  can be completed within 15-20 minutes, which is far quicker than the previous three-day octoreoscan,which takes minimum 3-4 days to complete. This allows for timely detection of tumours without the hassle of travelling back and forth consecutively.
  • Images quality– The DOTA PET CT Scan is a highly sensitive test which is capable of providing high resolution images that is capable of detecting even centimetres sized lesions. This is the reason it can help in detection as well as plan appropriate treatment.
  • Aids in treatment planning– because it offers a high quality image, it also aids in treatment plan. The treatment plan created is an effective diagnostic plan, giving a precise outcome.

What Are Drawbacks of DOTA PET CT Scan?

Although everything in the universe comes with its own set of pros and cons. DOTA PET CT Scan also has its few risks that a patient should be aware of. They, include-

  • The poorly defined NET tumours  are less sensitive to get diagnosed in a DOTA PET CT Scan, this might make it difficult to identify them at an early stage.
  • A false negative DOTA PET CT Scan result may appear if a patient is already taking somatostatin analogs. This is why you should stop taking the medicine 3-4 weeks before the DOTA PET CT Scan.

Things to Keep in Mind After a DOTA PET CT Scan

  • If you were given some medication before the scan, you will need to stay in the recovery room for some time.
  • You will be guided to drink plenty of water so as to help flush out the radioactive tracer that was given to you.
  • You are likely to be radioactive for a while after the scan, so you are suggested to stay away from pregnant women and children for 24 hours to prevent exposure.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should not feed their babies for at least 24 hours after the scan.
  • There are no restrictions on your diet. You can resume all your normal activities.


DOTA PET-CT Scan is a great advancement in diagnostic tools, which is capable of diagnosing NET (neuroendocrine tumours). The cost of DOTA PET CT Scan in Delhi varies from one centre to another centre. You should consult doctors and research for a best diagnostic centre near you to get a precise diagnosis.

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