This positron emission tomography (PET) study was designed to compare 2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) kinetic parameters of tumours derived from imaging frames of 0-60 min post FDG injection with those derived from shorter imaging frames of 0-30 min. Dynamic FDG-PET scans were performed on 20 patients with primary lung cancers for 1 h after intravenous injection of FDG. Images were reconstructed with attenuation correction using transmission images obtained with a germanium-68 ring source immediately before FDG injection. A region of interest (ROI) was placed on the plane of the maximal tumour FDG uptake. Arterial input function was estimated from an ROI defined in the left atrium. Based on the standard three-compartment metabolic model, we calculated the rate constants (K1-k3) and influx constant Ki = K1k3/(k2+k3) using the imaging frames for 60 min and 30 min post FDG injection. The standardized uptake value (SUV) of tumour was measured using the imaging frame of 50-60 min post injection. High correlations were observed between kinetic parameters (K1, k2, k3 and Ki) derived from imaging frames of 0-60 min and 0-30 min [0.231+/-0.114 vs 0.260+/-0.174 (r=0.958), 1.149+/-1.038 vs 1.565+/-2.027 (r=0.968), 0.259+/-0.154 vs 0.311+/-0.194 (r=0.886) and 0.044+/-0.022 vs 0.048+/-0.023 (r=0.961), respectively, P<0.001]. Ki showed an excellent agreement between the two methods (y=-0.0041+0.9831x). Mean SUV of the lung cancers was 6.58+/-2.85. It is concluded that the briefer 30-min acquisition may yield essentially the same results as the standard 60-min imaging protocol, thus offering a time saving in dynamic PET studies in which the model parameters are desired.