Objective: 11C-Methionine PET/CT (C-MET) is a promising method in detecting abnormal parathyroid glands in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). The first aim of the study was to evaluate which is the diagnostic role of C-MET in patients with PHPT and inconclusive pre-operative imaging. Second, we aimed to investigate whether C-MET semi-quantitative parameters may reflect biochemical and histological characteristics of involved glands. Methods: Patients with PHPT, undergoing C-MET after an inconclusive pre-operative imaging and having a parathyroid surgery, were retrospectively included. C-MET visual and semi-quantitative assessment was performed. Parameters, as SUVmax, SUVpeak, SUVmean, functional lesion volume (FLV) and total lesion activity (TLA), were measured for each detected lesion; SUVmean, FLV and TLA were calculated on 40–90% thresholds of SUVmax to define SUVmean40-90, FLV40-90 and TLA40-90, respectively. Results were correlated with patients’ clinical-laboratory (calcium and PTH values) and histological data (size and weight of excised glands). Mann–Whitney test was used and P value < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Thirty-eight patients (36 female, age: 57.69 ± 15.13 years) were included. Pre-operative median calcium and PTH values were 11.1 mg/dl [interquartile range (IQR) 10.6–11.5] and 154.6 pg/ml (IQR 101.8–227.0), respectively. C-MET showed a parathyroid uptake in 30 out of thirty-eight patients (78.9%). Among 42 nodules excised, C-MET correctly detected the side of the neck (right/left) in 30/42 with sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 79, 75 and 79%, respectively. C-MET correctly identified the exact position (superior/inferior) in 27/42 with sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 75, 50 and 71%, respectively. SUVpeak, FLV50-70 and TLA40-70 were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in patients with higher PTH results. The histological size resulted significantly (P < 0.05) higher in abnormal glands with higher SUVmax, SUVpeak, FLV40-80 and TLA40-90, the weight was higher in glands with higher SUVpeak, SUVmean40-50, FLV40-80 and TLA40-90. Conclusions: C-MET showed a good performance in detecting hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands in PHPT patients with inconclusive pre-operative imaging. Semi-quantitative PET-derived parameters closely correlated with PTH as well as with size and weight of the excised gland, thus reflecting some biochemical and histological characteristics of involved glands.
- Innovative biotechnology
- Semi-quantitative analysis