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International braz j urol

Print version ISSN 1677-5538On-line version ISSN 1677-6119

Int. braz j urol. vol.45 no.4 Rio de Janeiro July/Aug. 2019  Epub Sep 02, 2019 


Whole muscle 18F-choline uptake due to intense physical exercise

Francisco Javier García-Gómez1

Pablo Antonio de la Riva-Pérez1 

Ana Agudo-Martínez1 

Gertrudis Sabatel-Hernández1 

María Cinta Calvo-Morón1 

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Virgen Macarena University Hospital,Seville, Spain


We report an 18F-choline PET/CT scan performed on a 74-year-old patient with history of prostate neoplasm in the clinical context of progressive PSA elevation (10ng/ml) with negative imaging tests. Pelvic images were acquired at 5 min. post-injection of standardized radiotracer dose, while whole-body images were obtained 45 and 120 min. after injection (Figure-1; MIP images). A homogeneous increased uptake of tracer in the whole axial and appendicular muscle structures was highlighted in all series. A SUVmax of 4.8, 5.0 and 4.9 were reached in a reference ROI at left gluteus maximus muscle (Figure-1; axial fused images). Additionally, a fracture of the eleventh left rib arch was also observed (head-arrow). An intense basal physical activity mainly based on long walks, farming tasks and dance classes were referred when the patient was re-interrogated. Taking medication that might interfere with tracer distribution, such as colchicine (1), was also ruled out. It is well known that 18F-choline can be uptake in different tissues including striated muscle (2, 3), although it is a poor referred finding which seems to be related to physical activity, being most likely due to increased local perfusion and probably unavoidable to some extent (3). Knowledge of these variability of physiological uptake, benign findings and pitfalls, is crucial in order to get the most out of the scan.

Figure 1 MIP and fused PET/CT images acquired at 5 min, 45 min and 120 min after intravenous injection of 18F-Choline. An intense and difuse uptake of radiotracer was observed in all the series of the study. The muscle activity was measured by circular ROI in gluteus maximus muscle (axial fused images) demonstrating stable activity throughout the exploration. Incidentally, a fracture of the eleventh left rib arch was also observed (head-arrow). 


1. Roef MJ, van der Poel H, van der Laken CJ, Vogel WV. Colchicine must be stopped before imaging with [18F]-methylcholine PET/CT. Nucl Med Commun. 2010;31:1075-7. [ Links ]

2. Beheshti M, Haroon A, Bomanji JB, Langsteger W. Fluorocholine PET/computed tomography: physiologic uptake, benign findings, and pitfalls. PET Clin. 2014;9:299-306. [ Links ]

3. Roef M, Vogel WV. The effects of muscle exercise and bed rest on [18F]methylcholine PET/CT. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2011;38:526-30. [ Links ]

Received: August 16, 2018; Accepted: February 18, 2019; Published: April 10, 2019

Correspondence address: Francisco Javier García-Gómez, MD Department of Nuclear Medicine Virgen Macarena University Hospital Av. Dr. Fedriani 3 41009, Seville, Spain Fax: + 34 95 500-9162E-mail:

Creative Commons License  This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.