Positron-emission tomography as a prognostic tool for early-stage lung cancer

Am J Surg. 2006 Mar;191(3):433-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.10.052.


Background: Positron-emission tomography (PET) shows tissue metabolic activity in the form of the standard uptake value (SUV). This study examines the prognostic value of the SUV for early-stage lung cancer.

Methods: A retrospective review of 187 patients undergoing PET for potential lung cancer. Data collected included patient demographics, tumor pathology, and survival information. Data were correlated with PET results to determine if a prognostic relationship exists.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of PET for detecting malignant lesions were 98% and 24%. Malignant lesions had a higher SUV than benign lesions (5.9 +/- 6.2 versus 2.2 +/- 1.8, P < .0001). The average SUV of well-differentiated tumors was 2.6 +/- 3.1 versus 5.9 +/- 5.5 for other tumors (P = .010). There was a strong correlation between tumor stage and SUV (analysis of variance, P < .0001). There was no difference in tumor SUV for survivors versus nonsurvivors.

Conclusions: The SUV correlates with prognostic indicators, such as tumor stage and grade. The SUV alone was not an independent predictor of survival.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Rate