PURPOSE: To investigate whether time-trends of enhanced [(18)F]Fluoromethylcholine ([(18)F]FCH) in lymph nodes (LN) of prostate cancer (PCa) patients can help to discriminate reactive from malignant ones, and whether single time point standardized uptake value (SUV) measurements also suffice.
PROCEDURES: 25 PCa patients with inguinal (presumed benign) and enlarged pelvic LN (presumed malignant) showing enhanced [(18)F]FCH uptake at dual-phase PET-CT were analyzed. Associations between LN status (benign versus malignant) and SUV(max) and SUV(meanA50), determined at 2 min (early) and 30 min (late) post injection, were assessed. We considered two time-trends of [(18)F]FCH uptake: type A (SUV early > SUV late) and type B (SUV late ≥ SUV early). Histopathology and/or follow-up were used to confirm the assumption that LN with type A pattern are benign, and LN with type B pattern malignant.
RESULTS: Analysis of 54 nodes showed that LN status, time-trends, and 'late' (30 min p.i.) SUV(max) and SUV(meanA50) parameters were strongly associated (P<0.0001). SUV(max) relative difference was the best LN status predictor. All but one inguinal LN showed a decreasing [(18)F]FCH uptake over time (pattern A), while 95% of the pelvic nodes presented a stable or increasing uptake (pattern B) type.
CONCLUSIONS: Time-trends of enhanced [(18)F]FCH uptake can help to characterize lymph nodes in prostate cancer patients. Single time-point SUV measurements, 30 min p.i., may be a reasonable alternative for predicting benign versus malignant status of lymph nodes, but this remains to be validated in non-enlarged pelvic lymph nodes.
2012. Vol. 7, no 10, e48430- p.