FDG PET-CT in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Relationship between Primary Tumor FDG Uptake and Extensional or Metastatic Potential

  • Zhu, Shou-Hui (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Zhang, Yong (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Yu, Yong-Hua (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Fu, Zheng (Department of Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Kong, Lei (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Han, Da-Li (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Fu, Lei (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Yu, Jin-Ming (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Li, Jia (Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2013.05.30


Objective: To explore the relationships between primary tumor $^{18}F$-FDG uptake measured as the SUVmax and local extension, and nodal or distant organ metastasis in patients with NSCLC on pretreatment PET-CT. Methods: 93 patients with NSCLC who underwent $^{18}F$-FDG PET-CT scans before the treatment were included in the study. Primary tumor SUVmax was calculated; clinical stages, presence of local extension, nodal and distant organ metastases were recorded. The patients with SUVmax${\geq}2.5$ were divided into low and high SUVmax groups by using the median SUVmax. The low SUVmax group consisted of 45 patients with SUVmax<10.5, the high SUVmax group consisted of 46 patients with SUVmax${\geq}10.5$. Their data were compared statistically. Results: 91 cases with SUVmax${\geq}2.5$ were included for analysis. The mean SUVmax in patients without any metastasis was $7.42{\pm}2.91$ and this was significantly lower than that ($12.18{\pm}4.94$) in patients with nodal and/or distant organ metastasis (P=0.000). In the low SUV group, 19 patients had local extension, 22 had nodal metastasis, and 9 had distant organ metastasis. In the high SUV group, 31 patients had local extension, 37 had nodal metastasis, and 18 had distant organ metastases. There was a significant difference in local extension (P =0.016), distant organ metastasis (P =0.046), and most significant difference in nodal metastasis rate (P =0.002) between the two groups. In addition, there was a moderate correlation between SUVmax and tumor size (r = 0.642, P<0.001), tumor stage (r = 0.546, P<0.001), node stage (r = 0.388, P<0.001), and overall stage (r = 0.445, P= 0.000). Conclusion: Higher primary tumor SUVmax predicts higher extensional or metastatic potential in patients with NSCLC. Patients with higher SUVmax may need a close follow-up and more reasonable individual treatment because of their higher extensional and metastatic potential.


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