Incidental Finding of Squamous Cell Carcinoma on a 68Ga-DOTATATE PET Scan

Sanjana Mullangi, Manidhar Reddy Lekkala, Charumathi Raghu Subramanian, Omar Nemer, Jagmeet Singh, Asim Kichloo, Bahar Moftakhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a relatively rare entity; however, the incidence and prevalence of these tumors are increasing, likely attributed to improved diagnostic accuracy. The diagnosis of suspected NETs is facilitated by clinical symptoms, laboratory test abnormalities such as elevated chromogranin-A, and other diagnostic modalities such as the use of computed tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging scans, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and biopsy. The expression of high levels of somatostatin receptors in NETs enables the use of a specialized PET scan using the radiolabeled somatostatin analogues 68Ga-DOTATATE. The sensitivity and specificity of 68Ga-DOTATATE PET is very high for the diagnosis of NETs, but the specificity decreases especially with no clear symptoms and with only borderline elevated tumor markers. We present a case of a suspected NET, which was initially diagnosed as a metastatic NET by virtue of a positive 68Ga-DOTATATE PET scan; however, on biopsy it was revealed to be a squamous cell carcinoma originating from the head and neck.


  • NET
  • neuroendocrine tumor
  • oncology
  • squamous cell carcinoma


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