, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 531–536 | Cite as

18F-choline PET/CT incidental thyroid uptake in patients studied for prostate cancer

  • Domenico AlbanoEmail author
  • Rexhep Durmo
  • Francesco Bertagna
  • Raffaele Giubbini
Original Article



Thyroid incidental uptake is defined as a thyroid uptake incidentally detected by imaging examinations performed for non-thyroid disease. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence and the pathological nature of focal thyroid incidental uptake (FTIU) among patients studied with 18F-choline-PET/CT.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively evaluated 368 patients who performed 18F-choline-PET/CT between June 2016 and August 2018. The PET images were analyzed visually and semi-quantitatively by measuring the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and the mean SUV (SUVmean) of the thyroid gland and of the FTIU; every focal thyroid uptake deviating from physiological distribution and background was considered FTIU. Final diagnosis of FTIU was obtained by cytological or histological examination after surgery.


The average SUVmax and SUVmean of thyroid gland in population were 3 and 1.8. Among 368 patients, FTIU was identified in nine cases (2.4%) and eight underwent further investigations to determine the nature. Two FTIU were classified as malignant (thyroid carcinoma), whereas five were benign (three nodular hyperplasia, one follicular adenoma, one Hurtle cell adenoma) and one indeterminate at cytological examination. In malignant lesions, average SUVmax was 9.6 and 4.5, respectively, while average SUVmean was 5.3 and 2.9, respectively. Average SUVmax and SUVmean of benign lesions were 4.9 and 3.2 and of the indeterminate lesion 5 and 3, respectively.


18F-choline-PET/CT FTIU may be a relevant diagnostic reality, which requires further investigations and affects management, especially considering that, despite being mainly benign, also malignancy is possible.


Incidentaloma PET/CT 18F-choline Thyroid 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participant included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear MedicineSpedali Civili BresciaBresciaItaly
  2. 2.Nuclear MedicineUniversity of Brescia and Spedali Civili BresciaBresciaItaly

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