DOTATOC PET/CT imaging of a typical carcinoid tumor in a human ex-vivo perfused lung lobe
The use of Isolated lung perfusion (ILP), combined with medical imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT), provides real-time visualization of tumors in ventilated and perfused vital lung tissue. This experiment intends to show the feasibility and benefits of using ILP combined with PET/CT imaging. Following lung surgery on a 49-year-old male, his left lower lobectomy specimen, which held a typical carcinoid tumor, was preserved on normothermic ILP. Gallium-68-Edotreotide ([68Ga]-DOTATOC) was administered into the ILP circuit, and dynamic emission data from PET/CT was acquired. ILP was carried out for 120 minutes. Near physiologic gas exchange and glucose metabolism were preserved throughout the experiment. The time activity curves (TAC) of 5 different volumes of interest (VOI) showed notable differences in tracer uptake over time. The peripheral area of the carcinoid exhibited delayed but high somatostatin receptor agonist uptake compared to the surrounding parenchyma and the intrapulmonary artery. However, the central area of the carcinoid showed very low [68Ga]-DOTATOC uptake. This experiment demonstrates the potential of ILP combined with PET/CT for kinetic modeling in experimental nuclear medicine imaging. By providing visualization of tracer uptake in perfused lung tissue, this model could potentially improve our understanding of tumor physiology and molecular imaging.