Overview

Choline C-11 PET scan is an imaging test used to help detect sites of prostate cancer that has returned despite treatment (recurrent prostate cancer). It may be used when other imaging hasn't been helpful.

Choline C-11 PET scan is a positron emission tomography (PET) scan that uses a special chemical tracer called Choline C-11 Injection. A low-dose computerized tomography (CT) scan is usually done at the same time to help further show internal anatomy.

Choline C-11 PET scan may help doctors detect possible sites of recurrent prostate cancer that more-conventional imaging tests can't identify. Locating recurrent prostate cancer sooner may allow your doctor to identify small, isolated deposits of cancer — within the prostate and outside of the prostate — that can be targeted for more-effective treatment.

Choline C-11 PET scan uses a radioactive form of the vitamin choline. A small amount of the tracer is injected into a vein in your arm just before the scan is done. Prostate cancer cells in your body readily absorb the tracer. This can help doctors detect areas of prostate cancer cells throughout your body. A biopsy to remove some cells for lab testing is then done to confirm the presence of recurrent prostate cancer.

Choline C-11 PET scan care at Mayo Clinic

Feb. 09, 2019
  1. Choline C-11 Injection (prescribing information). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Clinic PET Radiochemistry Facility; 2012. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/index.cfm?event=overview.process&ApplNo=203155. Accessed Dec. 3, 2018.
  2. Prostate cancer. Plymouth Meeting, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Dec. 3, 2018.
  3. Evans JD, et al. Prostate cancer-specific PET radiotracers: A review on the clinical utility in recurrent disease. Practical Radiation Oncology. 2018;8:28.
  4. Murphy RC, et al. The utility of 11C-choline PET/CT for imaging prostate cancer: A pictorial guide. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2011;196:1390.

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