18F-choline in experimental soft tissue infection assessed with autoradiography and high-resolution PET
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For each oncological tracer it is important to know the uptake in non-tumorous lesions. The purpose of this study was to measure the accumulation of fluorine-18 choline (FCH), a promising agent for the evaluation of certain tumour types, in infectious tissue. Unilateral thigh muscle abscesses were induced in five rats by intramuscular injection of 0.1 ml of a bacterial suspension (Staphylococcus aureus, 1.2×109 CFU/ml). In all animals, FCH accumulation was measured with high-resolution positron emission tomography (PET) on day 6. Autoradiography of the abscess and ipsilateral healthy muscle was performed on day 7 (three animals) and day 11 (two animals) and correlated with histology. In addition, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET was performed on day 5. Increased FCH uptake was noted in specific layers of the abscess wall which contained an infiltrate of mainly granulocytes on day 7 and mainly macrophages on day 11. The autoradiographic standardised uptake values in the most active part of the abscess wall were 2.99 on day 7 (n=3) and 4.05 on day 11 (n=2). In healthy muscle the corresponding values were 0.99 and 0.64. The abscesses were clearly visualised on the FCH and FDG PET images. In conclusion, this study demonstrated avid FCH accumulation in inflammatory tissue, which limits the specificity of FCH for tumour detection. Future studies are now needed to determine the degree of this limitation in human cancer patients.
KeywordsSoft tissue infection 18F-choline 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose Autoradiography PET Tumour imaging
The authors would like to thank Claudia Keller for the help with the data acquisition and Tibor Cservenjak for the radiotracer synthesis. This project was supported by the Wilhelm Sander Foundation.
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