Diagnostic Performances of [18F]fluorocholine Positron Emission Tomography in Brain Tumors

Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2018 Jun;62(2):209-219. doi: 10.23736/S1824-4785.17.02807-2. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Background: Brain tumors characterization by molecular imaging that allows the depiction of brain lesions metabolic pattern is crucial. Our study aimed to: 1) to evaluate the diagnostic performances of [18F]fluoroethylcholine positron emission tomography/computed tomography ([18F]FECH PET/CT), and 2) correlate PET imaging derived parameters of [18F]FECH to survival in brain tumors.

Methods: From 2009 to 2012, we enrolled 30 patients who underwent [18F]FECH PET/CT. Final diagnosis was established by clinical and radiological follow-up.

Results: Final diagnosis was consistent with tumor disease in 27/30 cases. In 3/30 cases tumor disease was ruled out. [18F]FECH PET/CT resulted true positive and negative in 21/30 and 9/30 patients, respectively. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of [18F]FECH PET/CT were 78%, 100%, 100%, 33%, and 80%, respectively. Mean and maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmean and SUVmax) resulted statistically correlated to histology (P=0.0255 and P=0.0222, respectively). Using a SUVmax cut-off of 2.0 or 3.2, we distinguished between low- and high-grade gliomas with a good specificity (70% and 80%, respectively). SUVmax and histology resulted correlated to overall survival and disease related survival at multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Our results, worthy of further investigations, show high diagnostic performances of [18F]FECH PET/CT, and a correlation between PET imaging derived parameters and survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Choline / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • fluoroethylcholine
  • Fluorine-18
  • Choline