Reference range for intrapatient variability in blood-pool and liver SUV for 18F-FDG PET

Raef R Boktor, Gregory Walker, Roderick Stacey, Samuel R Gledhill, A G Pitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


(18)F-FDG PET qualitative tumor response assessment or tumor-to-background ratios compare targets against blood-pool or liver activity; standardized uptake value (SUV) semiquantitation has artifacts and is validated by a stable normal-tissue baseline. The aim of this study was to document the normal intrapatient range of scan-to-scan variation in blood-pool SUV and liver SUV and to identify factors that may adversely affect it (increase its spread). METHODS: Between July 2009 and June 2010, 132 oncology patients had 2 PET/CT scans. Patient preparation, acquisition, and reconstruction protocols were held stable, uniform, and reproducible. Mean SUV (body weight) values were obtained from 2-dimensional regions of interest in the aortic arch blood pool and in the right lobe of the liver. RESULTS: Of the 132 patients, 65 had lymphoma. Their mean age was 62.5 y. The group s mean serum glucose level was 6.0 mmol/L at the first visit and 5.9 mmol/L at the second visit. The mean (18)F-FDG dose was 4.1 MBq/kg at the first visit and 4.0 at the second. At the first visit, the group s mean blood-pool SUV was 1.55 (SD, 0.38); at the second, 1.58 (SD, 0.37)-not statistically different. The group s mean liver SUV was 2.17 (SD, 0.44) at the first visit and 2.29 (SD, 0.44) at the second (P = 0.005). Visit-to-visit intrapatient variation in blood-pool and liver SUVs had gaussian distributions. The variation in blood-pool SUV had a mean of 0.03 and SD of 0.42. The variation in liver SUV had a mean of 0.12 and SD of 0.50. Using 95th percentiles, the reference range in our patient population for intrapatient variation was -0.8 to 0.9 for blood pool SUV and -0.9 to 1.1 for liver SUV. Subanalysis by cancer type and chemotherapy suggested that the rise in liver SUV between the 2 visits was largely due to the commencement of chemotherapy, but no factors were identified as systematically affecting intrapatient variation, and no factors were identified as increasing its spread. CONCLUSION: In our patient cohort, the reference range for intrapatient variation in blood-pool and liver SUVs is -0.8 to 0.9 and -0.9 to 1.1, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677 - 682
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this