Dual-time point 18F-FDG PET/CT scan for differentiation between 18F-FDG-avid non-small cell lung cancer and benign lesions

Ann Nucl Med. 2009 Jul;23(5):427-35. doi: 10.1007/s12149-009-0260-6. Epub 2009 May 13.


Objective: The aim of this study is to clarify the difference of F-18 FDG uptake kinetics between FDG-avid non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and benign lesions associated with various etiologies on dual-time point PET/CT scan, and to determine the optimal parameter for differentiation.

Materials and methods: The materials were 76 FDG-avid solitary NSCLC in 76 patients and 57 FDG-avid solitary benign lesions associated with various etiologies in 61 patients. FDG PET/CT scan was performed at 60 and 120 min after intravenous injection of 4.4 MBq/kg F-18 FDG. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) on early and delayed scans and the percent change of SUVmax (%DeltaSUVmax) between the two time points were measured. The optimal differential parameter was determined by receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis and evaluation of diagnostic accuracy.

Results: The mean +/- SD of early SUV max, delayed SUVmax and %DeltaSUVmax were 8.3 +/- 5.2, and 10.2 +/- 6.5, and 21.9% +/- 18.9 in FDG-avid NSCLC, and 3.8 +/- 3.2, 4.0 +/- 3.7, and 11.3% +/- 26.0 in FDG-avid benign lesions, respectively. Delayed SUVmax in NSCLC was significantly higher than early SUVmax (P < 0.0001); while not different in benign lesions. Percent change of SUVmax in NSCLC was also significantly higher than that in benign lesions (P < 0.01). The optimal parameter for the differentiation was delayed SUVmax > 5.5 and yielded sensitivity of 77.6%, specificity of 80.7% and accuracy of 78.9%, which provided better differentiation than the use of %DeltaSUVmax or the traditional parameter of early SUVmax > 2.5. However, 11 (19.2%) benign lesions were indistinguishable from NSCLC.

Conclusion: Although delayed PET/CT scan enhances the difference of FDG uptake between FDG-avid NSCLC and benign lesions, and the use of delayed SUVmax > 5.5 appears to improve the differentiation of these hypermetabolic lesions compared with an early scan, careful interpretation and management for correct differentiation are still required.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18