Prostate cancer localization with 18fluorine fluorocholine positron emission tomography

J Urol. 2005 Jan;173(1):252-5. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000142099.80156.85.


Purpose: We evaluated positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorine fluorocholine (F FCH) for the pretreatment localization of prostate cancer.

Materials and methods: A total of 17 patients with prostate cancer who had not yet received treatment for the disease underwent whole body PET following intravenous administration of 3.3 to 4 MBq/kg F FCH. PET findings were compared with the results of prostate sextant biopsy and other imaging studies, and the clinical course. Tracer uptake in prostate sextants was measured as a maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and evaluated as a predictor of the prostate sextant biopsy result by ROC analysis.

Results: Prostate sextants positive for malignancy on biopsy demonstrated significantly higher SUVmax than biopsy negative sextants (mean 5.5 vs 3.3, p <0.001). In all 6 cases in which biopsy identified malignancy on only 1 side of the prostate it was possible to identify correctly the affected side based on higher SUVmax. Area under the ROC curve for SUVmax as a discriminator of biopsy positive sextants was 0.86. In 2 patients PET demonstrated areas of abnormal uptake in the retroperitoneum. Computerized tomography confirmed the presence of retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy in these areas. In the 2 patients these lesions regressed following hormonal treatment for prostate cancer.

Conclusions: Malignant tumors in the prostate gland can be localized based on a standardized regional measurement of F FCH uptake. PET with F FCH is potentially useful for staging and localizing prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choline / analogs & derivatives*
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • ROC Curve
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Choline