OBJECTIVES To assess the additional diagnostic value of 18F-fluorocholine PET imaging in preoperative localization of pathologic parathyroid glands in clinically manifest hyperparathyroidism in case of negative or conflicting ultrasound and scintigraphy results.
METHODS A retrospective, single-institution study of 26 patients diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. In cases where ultrasound and scintigraphy failed to detect the location of an adenoma in order to allow a focused surgical approach, an additional 18F-fluorocholine PET scan was performed and its results were compared with the intraoperative findings.
RESULTS A total of 26 patients underwent 18F-fluorocholine PET/CT (n = 11) or PET/MRI (n = 15). Adenomas were detected in 25 patients (96.2%). All patients underwent surgery, and the location predicted by PET hybrid imaging was confirmed intraoperatively by frozen section and adequate parathyroid hormone drop after removal. None of the patients needed revision surgery during follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS These results demonstrate that 18F-fluorocholine PET imaging is a highly accurate method to detect parathyroid adenomas even in case of previous localization failure by other imaging examinations.
KEY POINTS • With 18 F-fluorocholine PET imaging, parathyroid adenomas could be detected in 96.2%. • 18 F-fluorocholine imaging is a highly accurate method to detect parathyroid adenomas. • We encourage its use, where ultrasound fails to detect an adenoma.