The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of imaging of bladder cancer with fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scanning. We studied 12 patients with histologically proven bladder cancer who had undergone surgical procedures and/or radiotherapy. Retrograde irrigation of the urinary bladder with 1000-3710 ml saline was performed during nine of the studies. Dynamic and static PET images were obtained, and standardized uptake value images were reconstructed. FDG-PET scanning was true-positive in eight patients (66.7%), but false-negative in four (33.3%). Of 20 organs with tumor mass lesions confirmed pathologically or clinically, 16 (80%) were detected by FDG-PET scanning. FDG-PET scanning detected all of 17 distant metastatic lesions and two of three proven regional lymph node metastases. FDG-PET was also capable of differentiating viable recurrent bladder cancer from radiation-induced alterations in two patients. In conclusion, these preliminary data indicate the feasibility of FDG-PET imaging in patients with bladder cancer, although a major remaining pitfall is intense FDG accumulation in the urine.