Author(s): Jana S, Blaufox MD
Abstract Share this page
Abstract During the last decade, there has been a significant advancement in imaging of urologic diseases. Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and positron emission tomography (PET) are still experiencing new developments in urology. Despite these many technological advances, the initial diagnostic procedure for a patient with suspected prostate cancer (PC) is multiple site blind prostate biopsies. There is a need for a noninvasive metabolic imaging modality to direct the site of biopsy to decrease the sampling error. MRS seems promising but as it is a costly and more time-consuming test, further studies are needed to evaluate its clinical utility. Currently, PET does not play any role to direct biopsy. Acetate and choline appear to be better tracers than FDG for the detection of a prostate lesion, however, further well-organized studies are needed before any of these agents can be used clinically. Incidental detection of intense focal uptake in the prostate during whole body PET scanning should be evaluated with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and TRUS-guided biopsy. Although FDG is inferior to other tracers for primary staging, it may be useful in selected patients with suspected high-grade cancer. The role of ProstaScint scan is still controversial for detection of recurrent PC. This study may be helpful for evaluating nodal metastases when PSA is elevated and bone scan is negative. Bone scan remains the study of choice when bone metastases are suspected (PSA>15-20 ng/mL+/-bone pain). Acetate and choline provide better accuracy than FDG in the detection of local soft tissue disease, nodal involvement, and distant metastases. High FDG uptake may be indicative of more aggressive and possibly androgen-independent disease. PET/CT with any of the above PET tracers will most likely be preferred to the PET scan alone due to better localization of a hot lesion in PET/CT. Nuclear medicine studies also have been used to evaluate acute scrotum and testicular neoplasms. Scrotal scintigraphy has lost its popularity to Doppler ultrasound in the evaluation of the acute scrotum. In testicular tumors, FDG-PET appears to be superior to conventional imaging modalities in initial staging, detection of residual/recurrence, and monitoring treatment response. Tumor markers after treatment occasionally are elevated and cannot locate the site of recurrence, FDG-PET can play a very important role in this regard. Nuclear medicine studies also have been used to evaluate diseases of the urinary bladder. Radionuclide cystography is more sensitive and has less than 1/20 the radiation exposure of the conventional contrast enhanced micturating cystourethrogram (MCU). However, the utility of FDG-PET in the evaluation of bladder cancer seems to be limited to the evaluation of distant metastases. 11C-Methionine and choline may be a better option for local and nodal disease due to their negligible excretion in the urine.
This article was published in Semin Nucl Med
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy