The roles of PET and PET/CT in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer

Oncology. 2007;72(3-4):226-33. doi: 10.1159/000112946. Epub 2008 Jan 7.


2-(18)F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in prostate cancer is challenging because glucose utilization in well-differentiated prostate cancer is often lower than in other tumor types. Nonetheless, FDG-PET has a high positive predictive value for untreated metastases in viscera, but not lymph nodes. A positive FDG-PET can provide useful information to aid the clinician's decision on future management in selected patients who have low prostate-specific antigen levels and visceral changes as a result of metastases. On the other hand, FDG-PET is limited in the identification of prostate tumors, as normal urinary excretion of radioisotope can mask pathological uptake. Moreover, there is an overlap in the degree of uptake between prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia and inflammation. The tracer choice is also important. (11)C-choline has the advantage of reduced urinary excretion, and thus (11)C-choline PET may provide more accurate information on the localization of main primary prostate cancer lesions than MRI or MR spectroscopy. (11)C-choline PET is sensitive and accurate in the preoperative staging of pelvic lymph nodes in prostate cancer. A few studies are available but there were no PET or PET/CT studies with a large number of patients for tissue confirmation of prostate cancer; further investigations are required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Positron-Emission Tomography* / economics
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Radioimmunodetection*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed* / economics


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18