C-choline PET/CT in recurrent prostate cancer and nonprostatic neoplastic processes

Christopher L. Welle, Ethany L. Cullen, Patrick J. Peller, Val J. Lowe, Robert C. Murphy, Geoffrey B. Johnson, Larry A. Binkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Choline positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT), with both carbon 11 (11C) choline and fluorine 18 (18F) choline, is an increasingly used tool in the evaluation of patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. It has allowed detection and localization of locally recurrent and metastatic lesions that were difficult or impossible to identify using more conventional modalities. Many of the patients followed for their prostate cancer are elderly and have a higher rate of nonprostate cancer lesions or malignancies. As our experience with choline PET/CT has grown, it has become apparent that many of these nonprostate cancer processes, both benign and malignant, can be detected. Invasive thymoma, renal cell carcinoma, papillary thyroid carcinoma, and parathyroid adenoma are a few of the processes that have been incidentally detected with11C-choline PET/CT at our institution and have significantly altered subsequent clinical management of the patient. Although most of the secondary lesions are detected due to their increased11C-choline avidity, several have been detected due to their decreased or lack of avidity in the background of a highly avid organ. For instance, large liver masses that are relatively non-choline-avid create large activity defects in the otherwise highly active liver. Familiarity with normal11C-choline physiologic activity, the most common prostate metastatic patterns, and imaging characteristics of secondary lesions is essential for the detection and correct diagnosis of such lesions so that proper follow-up and management can be recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-292
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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