Impact of fasting on F-18-fluorocholine gastrointestinal uptake and detection of lymph node metastases in patients with prostate cancer

Maurits Wondergem*, Friso M. van der Zant, Remco J. J. Knol, Jan Pruim, Igle J. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: F-18-fluorocholine PET/CT is used to detect lymph node metastases in prostate cancer patients. Physiological F-18-fluorocholine in the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the intestines, may interfere with the detection of malignant lymph nodes. Fasting is frequently proposed in literature; however, scientific support is lacking. This study aims to determine the impact of fasting on F-18-fluorocholine uptake in the gastrointestinal tract.

Methods: Eighty patients were studied, 40 fasted for at least 6 h prior to F-18-fluorocholine administration while the other 40 did not fast. F-18-fluorocholine uptake pattern and intensity were evaluated in the intestine near the abdominal aorta and four regions near the iliac arteries. F-18-fluorocholine intensity was also measured in the liver, pancreas, stomach and spleen.

Findings: No statistically significant differences were found in F-18-fluorocholine uptake in the gastrointestinal tract between the fasting and non-fasting group.

Conclusions: Fasting for 6 h has no effect on F-18-fluorocholine uptake in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, no effects on the detection of malignant lymph nodes are expected, and fasting is not recommended in our opinion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6-Jan-2016


  • F-18-fluorocholine
  • PET/CT
  • Prostate cancer
  • Urology
  • Patient preparations

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