BACKGROUND: Identifying the correct location of a parathyroid adenoma in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) is crucial as it can guide surgical treatment. This study aimed to determine the diagnostic performance of 11C-choline PET/CT in patients with pHPT as a next in-line scan after primary negative or discordant first-line imaging.
METHODS: This was a retrospective single-center cohort study. All patients with pHPT that were scanned utilizing 11C-choline PET/CT, after prior negative or discordant imaging, between 2015 and 2019 and who subsequently underwent parathyroid surgery were included. The results of the 11C-choline PET/CT were evaluated lesion-based, with surgical exploration and histopathological examination as the gold standard.
RESULTS: In total, 36 patients were included of which three patients were known to have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) syndrome. In these 36 patients, 40 lesions were identified on 11C-choline PET/CT and 37 parathyroid lesions were surgically removed. In 34/36 (94%) patients a focused parathyroidectomy was performed, in one patient a cervical exploration due to an ectopically identified adenoma, and in one patient a bilateral exploration was performed because of a double adenoma. Overall, per-lesion sensitivity of 11C-choline PET/CT was 97%, the positive predictive value was 95% and the accuracy was 94% for all parathyroid lesions.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with pHPT and prior negative or discordant first-line imaging results, pathological parathyroid glands can be localized by 11C-choline PET/CT with high sensitivity and accuracy.