BACKGROUND: Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS) can detect a high percentage of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours especially in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The ability of these procedures to localise primary tumour lesions and metastases of gastrinomas and insulinomas was evaluated in comparison with transabdominal ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a prospective trial, patients with gastrinomas (n = 10) and insulinomas (n = 10) diagnosed by clinical signs and laboratory tests were assessed by EUS, SRS, US, CT and MRI. RESULTS: In 10 patients with gastrinoma and 10 patients with insulinoma, a total of 14 separate primary tumour lesions were histologically confirmed for each of the tumour entities. The mean diameter was 2.1 cm for gastrinomas and 1.5 cm for insulinomas. All insulinomas and nine gastrinoma lesions were located in the pancreas. Three gastrinomas were found in the duodenal wall, one in a periduodenal lymph node, and one in the liver, For gastrinomas, sensitivities were 79% with EUS, 86% with SRS and 29% with CT, US, and MRI. For insulinomas, sensitivities were 93% with EUS, 14% with SRS, 21% with CT and 7% with US and MRI. CONCLUSIONS: EUS is of high value for localising primary lesions of both tumour entities. SRS is a very sensitive procedure for diagnosing of gastrinomas but not insulinomas. CT, US and MRI are primarily useful for visualising metastases.
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