Treatment at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

For Choline C-11 PET scan for recurrent prostate cancer, you first meet with your doctor to determine whether the exam is appropriate for you. If it's determined that you're a candidate, you'll receive a full-body positron emission tomography (PET) scan using Choline C-11 Injection. At Mayo Clinic, you will also receive a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the same time.

The entire scanning procedure — including preparation time — takes about an hour. To prepare, you'll be asked to lie on your back on a movable table. You'll likely be strapped onto the table to help keep you from moving during the scan. You can wear your street clothes and small jewelry. Just before the PET and CT scans, you'll receive the Choline C-11 agent through an injection in a vein in your arm. The table on which you're lying will then move into the scanner and the exam will begin. The actual Choline C-11 PET scan and accompanying CT scan usually take about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the Choline C-11 agent degrades and is no longer useful in identifying sites of possible recurrent prostate cancer. During the scan, you may listen to music to help you relax.

When the scan is complete, the table moves out of the scanner, and you'll be free to leave. You can resume your daily activities. Your doctor will meet with you to discuss the results of your scan.

Possible risks associated with the Choline C-11 PET scan include imaging errors, allergic reaction to the imaging agent and mild injection site reactions. A Choline C-11 PET scan also contributes to your long-term cumulative radiation exposure.

Read the full prescribing information for Choline C-11 Injection.

Related video

Eugene D. Kwon, M.D., explains the value of Choline C-11 PET scan test.

Val Lowe, M.D., discusses how the Choline C-11 imaging agent works.

Aug. 05, 2014