Reevaluation of the Standardized Uptake Value for FDG: Variations with Body Weight and Methods for Correction

PURPOSE: To reevaluate the relationships between standardized uptake values (SUVs) and body weight by using positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-[fluorine 18]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: FDG PET scanning was performed in 138 female patients with known or suspected primary breast cancers. SUVs in blood and tumor (n = 79) were calculated by using body weight (SUVbw), ideal body weight (SUVibw), lean body mass (SUVlbm), and body surface area (SUVbsa) on images obtained 50–60 minutes after the injection of FDG.

RESULTS: There was a strong positive correlation between the blood SUVbw and body weight (r = 0.705, P < .001). The blood SUVibw reduced the weight dependence but showed a negative correlation with body weight (r = −0.296, P < .001). Both the blood SUVlbm and SUVbsa eliminated the weight dependence and showed no correlation with body weight (r = −0.010, P = .904 and r = 0.106, P = .215, respectively). Although there was a wide variance in the tumor SUVbw, it showed a weak but significant positive correlation with body weight (r = 0.207, P = .033). Plots of the tumor SUVlbm and SUVbsa versus body weight showed relatively flat slopes.

CONCLUSION: SUVlbm and SUVbsa are weight-independent indices for FDG uptake, and SUVlbm appears to be more appropriate for quantifying FDG uptake to avoid overestimation of glucose utilization in obese patients.

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Article History

Published in print: Nov 1999