Inverse correlation between tumor perfusion and glucose uptake in human head and neck tumors

Acad Radiol. 2007 Mar;14(3):312-8. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2006.12.017.


Rationale and objectives: We sought to determine the relationship between tumor blood flow and glucose uptake in head and neck tumors using perfusion computed tomography (PCT) and fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET).

Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this study. Sixteen patients (mean age, 67 years; age range, 36-89 years) who had known or suspected head and neck tumors (15 malignant tumors and one schwannoma) underwent PCT and FDG PET examinations. Tumor area was measured on conventional CT images. The PCT data were postprocessed using maximum slope method analysis, and standardized uptake value (SUV) was measured on FDG PET.

Results: Mean arterial perfusion of the tumors was 61.56 mL/min/100 mL (range 22.17-102.7 mL/min/100 mL), and mean FDG SUV was 7.48 (range 2.74-17.1). A significant negative correlation between arterial perfusion and FDG SUV was found for malignant tumors (r = -0.538, P = .04, n = 15).

Conclusion: There was an inverse relationship between arterial perfusion and glucose uptake of head and neck malignant tumors, suggesting that the malignant tumors may depend on anaerobic glycolysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose