The role of fluorodeoxyglucose, 18F-dihydroxyphenylalanine, 18F-choline, and 18F-fluoride in bone imaging with emphasis on prostate and breast

Semin Nucl Med. 2006 Jan;36(1):73-92. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2005.09.002.


Diagnostic imaging has played a major role in the evaluation of patients with bone metastases. The imaging modalities have included bone scintigraphy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and most recently PET/CT, which can be performed with different tracers, including fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), 18F-fluoride, 18F-choline (FCH), and 18F-DOPA (dihydroxyphenylalanine). For most tumors the sensitivity of FDG in detecting bone metastases is similar to bone scintigraphy; additionally it can be used to monitor the response to chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. 18F-Fluoride may provide a more sensitive "conventional" bone scan and is superior for FDG nonavid tumors, but, nevertheless, FDG in "early disease" often has clear advantages over 18F-fluoride. Although more data need to be obtained, it appears that FCH is highly efficient in preoperative management regarding N and M staging of prostate cancer once metastatic disease is strongly suspected or documented. For neuroendocrine tumors and in particular in medullary thyroid cancer, DOPA is similar to 18F-fluoride in providing high quality information regarding the skeleton. Nevertheless, prospective studies with large patient groups will be essential to define the exact diagnostic role of FCH and DOPA PET in different clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Choline*
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • fluorodopa F 18
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine
  • Choline