To systematically review published data on the role of positron emission tomography (PET) or PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) using either Carbon-11 (11C) or Fluorine-18 (18F) choline tracer in tumors other than prostatic cancer. A comprehensive literature search of studies published in PubMed/MEDLINE and Embase databases through January 2012 and regarding 11C-choline or 18F-choline PET or PET/CT in patients with tumors other than prostatic cancer was carried out. Fifty-two studies comprising 1800 patients were included and discussed. Brain tumors were evaluated in 15 articles, head and neck tumors in 6, thoracic tumors (including lung and mediastinal neoplasms) in 14, liver tumors (including hepatocellular carcinoma) in 5, gynecologic malignancies (including breast tumors) in 5, bladder and upper urinary tract tumors in 5, and musculoskeletal tumors in 7. Radiolabeled choline PET or PET/CT is useful to differentiate high-grade from low-grade gliomas and malignant from benign brain lesions, to early detect brain tumor recurrences and to guide the stereotactic biopsy sampling. The diagnostic accuracy of radiolabeled choline PET is superior compared to Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET in this setting. Radiolabeled choline PET or PET/CT seems to be accurate in differential diagnosis between malignant and benign thoracic lesions and in staging lung tumors; nevertheless, a superiority of radiolabeled choline compared to 18F-FDG has not been demonstrated in this setting, except for the detection of brain metastases. Few but significant studies on radiolabeled choline PET and PET/CT in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and musculoskeletal tumors are reported in the literature. The combination of radiolabeled choline and 18F-FDG PET increases the detection rate of HCC. The diagnostic accuracy of radiolabeled choline PET or PET/CT seems to be superior compared to 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT and conventional imaging methods in patients with bone and soft tissue tumors. Limited experience exists about the role of radiolabeled choline PET and PET/CT in patients with head and neck tumors, bladder cancer and gynecologic malignancies including breast cancer.
- Positron emission tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging