Imaging evaluation of prostate cancer with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT: utility and limitations

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013 Jul;40 Suppl 1(0 1):S5-10. doi: 10.1007/s00259-013-2361-7. Epub 2013 Feb 22.


Prostate cancer is a major public health problem in developed countries. The remarkable biological and clinical heterogeneity of prostate cancer provides unique opportunities as well as challenges for the diagnostic imaging evaluation of this prevalent disease. The disease is characterized by a natural history that ranges from localized slowly growing hormone-dependent tumor progressing to metastatic hormone-refractory disease. PET is an ideal imaging tool for noninvasive interrogation of the underlying tumor biology. (18)F-FDG is the most common PET radiotracer used for oncological applications based upon elevated glucose metabolism in malignant tissue in comparison to normal tissue. FDG uptake in prostate cancer depends on tumor differentiation with low accumulation in well-differentiated tumors and high uptake in aggressive poorly differentiated tumors. Cumulative current evidence suggests that FDG PET may be useful in detection of disease in a small fraction of patients with biochemical recurrence, in the imaging evaluation of extent and treatment response in metastatic disease and in prediction of patient outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18