The diagnostic efficacy of somatostatin receptor scintigraphy labeling with 111 indium in the localization of tumors has been assessed in a limited number of patients with contradictory outcomes. Here, we describe the case of a patient with an ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing bronchial carcinoid tumor diagnosed preoperatively using technetium-99m-labeled octreotide acetate scintigraphy.
A 29-year-old Asian man presented to our hospital with the typical clinical features of Cushing's syndrome, which he had had for a duration of 18 months. The results of a biochemical evaluation revealed he had adrenocorticotropic hormone-dependent Cushing's syndrome. The results of a spiral abdominal computed tomography scan showed he had bilateral adrenal hypertrophy. A magnetic resonance image of the patient's brain showed he had a normal hypophysis. Whole body technetium-99m-labeled octreotide acetate scintigraphy was performed to check for the presence of an ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing tumor. The scan results showed a small focal increase in uptake in the lower lobe of our patient's right lung, just above his diaphragm. A spiral chest computed tomography scan also revealed a small non-specific lesion in the same region. A transthoracic biopsy was then performed. Pathological evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of a carcinoid tumor, of the adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing type. After surgical removal, the patient's symptoms resolved and significant clinical improvement was achieved.
This case report shows that technetium-99m-labeled octreotide acetate scintigraphy can effectively detect an ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing bronchial carcinoid.