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Evaluation of [18F]-choline PET/CT for staging and restaging of prostate cancer

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European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Aims and scope Submit manuscript



To evaluate the accuracy of [18F]-choline (FCH) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for staging and restaging of prostate cancer.


FCH PET/CT was performed in 111 patients with prostate cancer using 200 MBq FCH: 43 patients [mean age 63 years; mean prostrate specific antigen (PSA) 11.58 μg/l] were examined for initial staging, and 68 patients (mean age 66.4 years) were examined for restaging (mean PSA 10.81 μg/l). FCH PET/CT results were correlated to histopathology, bone scan, morphology as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT, PET/CT follow-up and PSA follow-up after therapy.


FCH PET/CT scans at initial staging correctly showed no metastases in 36/38 patients undergoing radical surgery, as confirmed by PSA levels <0.1 μg/l 6 months postoperatively. Lymphadenectomy was performed in 24 of these patients, revealing four false FCH-negative lymph nodes (LN). In one patient, only lymphadenectomy was performed since a FCH-positive LN was confirmed by histology. Four patients showed FCH-positive bone metastases, as proven by bone scan. FCH PET/CT scans at restaging correctly revealed local recurrence in 36 patients. No pathological FCH uptake was observed in 11 patients with biochemical recurrence. Twenty-three patients showed FCH-positive LN. Twenty LN were surgically removed in seven patients. Histopathology verified metastases in all LN, but revealed two additional metastastic, FCH-negative LN. Seventeen patients showed FCH-positive bone metastases, as proven by bone scan or MRI. Sensitivity to detect recurrent disease was 86%.


The results obtained using FCH PET/CT scans for initial N-staging were discouraging, especially in terms of its inability to detect small metastases. Recurrent disease can be localized reliably in patients with PSA levels of >2 μg/l.

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Correspondence to Daniela B. Husarik.

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Husarik, D.B., Miralbell, R., Dubs, M. et al. Evaluation of [18F]-choline PET/CT for staging and restaging of prostate cancer. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 35, 253–263 (2008).

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