Introduction: Thyroid incidentaloma is defined as a thyroid lesion incidentally and newly detected by imaging techniques performed for an unrelated purpose and especially for a non-thyroid disease. Aim of this review is to evaluate the prevalence and clinical significance of focal incidental radiolabelled choline uptake in the thyroid gland (CTI) revealed by PET or PET/CT. Methods: A comprehensive computer literature search of the PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Embase databases was conducted to find relevant published articles about the prevalence and clinical significance of CTIs detected by PET or PET/CT in patients studied for other oncologic purposes. Results: Fifteen articles (14 case reports, one retrospective study on a larger population sample) were included in the systematic review. Considering the case reports, 7/14 CTIs were benign and 7/14 malignant. In the retrospective study on a larger population sample, 14/15 CTIs which underwent further investigations were benign. Conclusion: Despite very rare but probably underestimated, CTIs frequently signal in the presence of unexpected lesions in the thyroid that differ from the indicated reason for which the patient was initially scanned, and the risk of malignancy is not negligible.
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