Kinetics of [11C]choline uptake in prostate cancer: a PET stydy
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- Sutinen, E., Nurmi, M., Roivainen, A. et al. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging (2004) 31: 317. doi:10.1007/s00259-003-1377-9
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Carbon-11 choline has recently been introduced as a potential tracer for tumour imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). We evaluated the kinetics of the uptake of [11C]choline in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. We also evaluated the association between the uptake of [11C]choline and the histological grade of malignancy, Gleason score, volume of the prostate and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Fourteen patients with histologically confirmed prostate cancer and five patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia were studied with [11C]choline PET. A mean dose of 430±31 MBq of [11C]choline was injected intravenously and a dynamic emission acquisition of prostate was performed for 30 min. The uptake of [11C]choline was measured as a standardised uptake value (SUV) and as a kinetic influx constant (Ki) obtained from graphical analysis. Both cancerous and hyperplastic prostate were well visualised with [11C]choline against low or moderate tracer accumulation in the bladder and rectal wall. The measured radioactivity in urine was invariably low. In the graphical analysis, linear plots were achieved. The mean Ki of the untreated tumour was 0.205±0.089 min−1 (range 0.128–0.351; n=7) and the mean SUV was 5.6±3.2 (range 1.9–15.5; n=15). Ki values and SUVs correlated closely (r=0.964, P=0.0005), whereas no correlation could be demonstrated between the tumour uptake of [11C]choline and the histological grade, Gleason score, volume of the prostate or PSA . The mean SUV and the mean Ki of benign hyperplastic prostate were 3.5±1.0 (range 2.0–4.5; n=4) and 0.119±0.076 min−1 (range 0.065–0.173; n=2). In conclusion, a high uptake of [11C]choline characterises not only carcinomatous but also hyperplastic prostatic tissue. Dynamic imaging of the uptake of [11C]choline in the prostate shows a good applicability of the graphical analysis model with an irreversible compartment. A close correlation between the Ki values and semiquantitative SUVs of tumours supports the use of the simpler SUV in the clinical setting.