Value of Somatostatin Receptor Scintigraphy with 99mTc-HYNIC-TOC in Patients with Primary Sjögren Syndrome

Luz Kelly Anzola*, Jose Nelson Rivera, Rudi A. Dierckx, Chiara Lauri, Stefano Valabrega, Filippo Galli, Sergio Moreno Lopez, Andor W. J. M. Glaudemans, Alberto Signore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: Primary Sjogren syndrome (SS) is diagnosed based on the American European Consensus Group (AECG) criteria, but lacks specificity, not only in the involvement of salivary glands, but also in extra-glandular involvement. Whole-body somatostatin receptor scintigraphy with Tc-99m-HYNIC-TOC scintigraphy could overcome these limitations. The aims of this study were to evaluate salivary gland uptake of Tc-99m-HYNIC-TOC in untreated patients with de-novo diagnosis of SS as compared to control subjects and as compared to conventional sialoscintigraphy with (TcO4-)-Tc-99m. We also aimed to evaluate the involvement of joints. Methods: Tc-99m-HYNIC-TOC was used with SS patients and uptake in joints and salivary glands was analyzed semi-quantitatively. Patients also underwent (TcO4)-Tc-99m sialoscintigraphy. The control group that we analyzed consisted of 30 patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Results: Fifty-two females and 10 males fully met the AECG criteria for SS, and were included. A target background ratio (TBR) >1.18 in submandibular glands correctly classified 93% of the patients with SS in comparison to 27% for (TcO4)-Tc-99m sialoscintigraphy. The area under the curve (ROC) analysis for TBR in submandibular glands was 0.95. In joints there was a huge variety in uptake. The median TBR was significantly higher in salivary glands in patients with SS compared to controls. Conclusions: Tc-99m-HYNIC-TOC scintigraphy identified active inflammatory processes not only in the salivary glands, but, unexpectedly, also in many joints in patients with primary SS, contrary to popular belief. This technique provides an objective parameter to evaluate the inflammation burden in salivary glands and joints and could be used to evaluate response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number763
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2019


  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Tc-99m-HYNIC-TOC
  • somatostatin receptor scintigraphy
  • inflammation
  • salivary glands

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