Potential novel application of dual time point SUV measurements as a predictor of survival in head and neck cancer

Nucl Med Commun. 2005 Oct;26(10):861-7. doi: 10.1097/00006231-200510000-00003.


Objectives: To examine the potential of pre-treatment dual time point [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) as a tool for improving the assessment of head and neck cancer. Two main areas were investigated: (a) optimum time to start FDG scanning post-injection and (b) potential of SUV obtained from dual time point scanning as a prognostic indicator of survival.

Methods: Twelve patients with advanced head and neck cancer were prospectively studied. Each patient was scanned using a Siemen's Ecat Exact-47 PET scanner at 1 h and 2 h post-injection. Maximum tumour uptake (SUVt) and ratio of maximum tumour/normal tissue uptake (SUVt/n) were recorded. The optimal time to initiate scanning was investigated by comparing SUVt and SUVt/n with the decision made by two experienced observers as to which scan they preferred to report from, given the choice of the 1 h and 2 h scan in each patient.

Results: A significant difference between 1 h and 2 h SUVt (P<0.004, paired t-test) and between 1 h and 2 h SUVt/n (P<0.0003, paired t-test) was observed. All 2 h SUVt and SUVt/n were greater in magnitude than their respective 1 h SUVt and SUVt/n counterparts. The two observers reported an identical number of lesions from the 1 h and 2 h scans but preferred the 2 h data.

Conclusions: Tumour stage and the percentage difference in 1 h and 2 h SUVt showed potential as prognostic indicators of long-term survival.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Analysis*
  • Survival Rate
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18