DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4018-zPages: 1772-1780

Challenging pre-surgical localization of hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands in primary hyperparathyroidism: the added value of 18F-Fluorocholine PET/CT

1. Gustave Roussy, Nuclear Medicine and Endocrine Tumors

2. Université Paris Sud, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Bicetre Hospital and INSERM U1185, Department of Endocrinology

3. Gustave Roussy, Division of Surgical Oncology

4. University of Turin, Nuclear Medicine Unit, Department of Medical Sciences

Correspondence to:
Serena Grimaldi




To evaluate the added value of 18F-Fluorocholine (18F-FCH) PET/CT in presurgical imaging of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) and challenging localization of the hyper-functioning parathyroid glands.


We included 27 consecutive patients with primary HPT (19 F; median age: 58 years), with either (i) non-conclusive pre-surgical localization with 99mTc-sestaMIBI scintigraphy and neck ultrasonography (US), (ii) recurrence of previously operated HPT, or (iii) familiar HPT with a suspicion of multiple gland disease. Histological findings and resolution of HPT were considered as the gold standard.


18F-FCH PET/CT was positive in 24/27 patients. Twenty-one patients underwent surgery with 27 resected lesions (14 adenomas, 11 hyperplastic glands, two hyper-functioning histologically normal glands), with resolution of HPT in 19/21 patients (90%). 18F-FCH PET/CT localized 22 lesions in 17/21 patients (per patient: sensitivity 81%, positive predictive value (PPV) 94%; per gland: sensitivity 76%, PPV 85%, specificity 91%, negative predictive value (NPV) 86%). 18F-FCH PET/CT found eight lesions which were undetectable on both 99mTc-sestaMIBI scintigraphy and US. In patients with a familial HPT and/or a multiple gland disease, sensitivity was 100 and 79% on a per-patient and a per-gland analysis respectively, while NPV was 63%. In six patients with a persistence or recurrence of previously treated HPT, 18F-FCH PET/CT localized all lesions, both in sporadic and familiar disease.


18F-FCH PET/CT is a promising modality in challenging pre-surgical localization of hyper-functioning parathyroid glands, such as inconclusive standard imaging, recurrence after surgery, or suspected multiple gland disease.

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  • Accepted: Apr 10, 2018
  • Online: Apr 22, 2018

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