Comparison of ultrasonography, computed tomography, and single-photon emission computed tomography for the detection and localization of canine insulinoma

Robben JH, Pollak YW, Kirpensteijn J, et al.

J Vet Intern Med 2005;19:15-22.

Accurate preoperative detection, localization, and staging of the primary tumor and metastases are essential for the selection of appropriate candidates for surgery. In dogs with insulinoma, preoperative assessment usually is performed with transabdominal ultrasonography (US). There are no reports on the use of computed tomography (CT) for this purpose. The preoperative use of somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS) recently has been advocated for the identification of insulinoma and gastrinoma in dogs, but its accuracy remains to be established. In this report US, CT, and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [111In-DTPA-D-Phe1]-octreotide (a specific form of SRS) were compared for their effectiveness in detecting and localizing primary and metastatic insulinoma in dogs. Findings at surgery or postmortem examination served as control. Of 14 primary insulinomas, 5, 10, and 6 were correctly identified by US, CT, and SPECT, respectively. No lymph node metastases were detected by US or SPECT. CT identified 2 of 5 lymph node metastases but also identified 28 false-positive lesions. Two of 4 livers were found to be positive for metastases by 1 of the imaging techniques. US can be used for the initial evaluation of dogs with hypoglycemia. Although CT identifies most primary tumors, intraoperative inspection and palpation of the pancreas is still superior. SPECT appears as effective as US and CT in detecting insulinomas. Future developments in preoperative imaging techniques might improve current methods of canine insulinoma detection.