Optimization of parathyroid 11C-choline PET protocol for localization of parathyroid adenomas in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism

Milou E. Noltes, Schelto Kruijff, Walter Noordzij, Eef D. Telenga, David Vállez García, Malgorzata Trofimiuk-Müldner, Marta Opalińska, Alicja Hubalewska-Dydejczyk, Gert Luurtsema, Rudi A. J. O. Dierckx, Mostafa el Moumni, Ronald Boellaard, Adrienne H. Brouwers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the optimal tracer uptake time, the minimal amount of radioactivity and the inter-observer agreement for 11C-choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT). Methods: Twenty-one patients with biochemically proven pHPT were retrospectively studied after injection of 6.3 ± 1.2 MBq/kg 11C-choline. PET data of the first nine patients, scanned for up to 60 min, were reconstructed in 10-min frames from 10- to 60-min postinjection (p.i.), mimicking varying 11C-choline uptake times. Parathyroid adenoma to background contrast ratios were calculated and compared, using standardized uptake values (SUVs). Data was reconstructed with varying scan durations (1, 2.5, 5, and 10 min) at 20–30-min p.i. (established optimal uptake time), mimicking less administered radioactivity. To establish the minimal required radioactivity, the SUVs in the shorter scan durations (1, 2.5, and 5 min) were compared to the 10-min scan duration to determine whether increased variability and/or statistical differences were observed. Four observers analyzed the 11C-choline PET/CT in four randomized rounds for all patients. Results: SUVpeak of the adenoma decreased from 30 to 40 p.i. onwards. All adenoma/background contrast ratios did not differ from 20- to 30-min p.i. onwards. The SUVs of adenoma in the scan duration of 1, 2.5, and 5 min all differed significantly from the same SUV in the 10-min scan duration (all p = 0.012). However, the difference in absolute SUV adenoma values was well below 10% and therefore not considered clinically significant. The inter-observer analysis showed that the Fleiss’ kappa of the 1-min scan were classified as “moderate,” while these values were classified as “good” in the 2.5-, 5-, and 10-min scan duration. Observers scored lower certainty scores in the 1- and 2.5-min scans compared to the 5- and 10-min scan durations. Conclusion: The optimal time to start PET/CT scanning in patients with pHPT is 20 min after mean injection of 6.3 MBq/kg 11C-choline, with a recommended scan duration of at least 5 min. Alternatively, the radioactivity dose can be lowered by 50% while keeping a 10-min scan duration without losing the accuracy of 11C-choline PET/CT interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this