C11 choline PET/CT succeeds when conventional imaging for primary hyperparathyroidism fails

Published:October 10, 2022DOI:



      Focused parathyroidectomy in primary hyperparathyroidism is possible with accurate preoperative localization. A growing body of data exists regarding the role of radio-labeled C11 choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography. In cases of nonlocalized disease, it may be a useful adjunct to ultrasound, (123)I/(99)Tc-sestamibi (I-123 sestamibi), or 4-dimensional computed tomography imaging.


      Patients who received a neck and chest limited coverage C11 choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography for evaluation of primary hyperparathyroidism from 2017 to 2021 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. We assessed the sensitivity, positive predictive value, and false negative rate. We also compared these rates to the standard modalities of ultrasound, I-123 sestamibi, 4-dimensional computed tomography, and examined concordance rates.


      We identified 43 patients, of whom 33 had a positive C11 choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography finding. This cohort of patients had failed to localize on multiple standard imaging modalities. Twenty-five patients proceeded to surgery, 72% of whom were reoperative cases. Twenty (80%) achieved an intraoperative cure. Analysis showed that C11 choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography achieved a sensitivity of 64% (95% confidence interval 47%–82%) and positive predictive value of 72% (95% confidence interval 54%–90%). There were 5/25 (20%) false positive positron emission tomography C11 choline results found to be lymph nodes, normal parathyroid, and 1 recurrent laryngeal nerve neuroma.


      • Parvinian A.
      • Martin-Macintosh E.L.
      • Goenka A.H.
      • et al.
      11C-Choline PET/CT for detection and localization of parathyroid adenomas.
      choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography is a useful adjunct for parathyroid localization in a complex population of patients who have failed standard localization techniques including ultrasound, I-123 sestamibi, or 4-dimensional computed tomography and/or prior operations. Although routine inclusion of C11 choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging may not be necessary, it may aid in preoperative localization in the reoperative setting.
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