Prognostic impact of standardized uptake value of F-18 FDG PET/CT in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Clin Nucl Med. 2011 Nov;36(11):1007-11. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e31821a29a4.


Purpose: We evaluated the use of metabolic parameters of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) for the assessment of the primary tumor and nodal metastasis in predicting survival in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients.

Materials and methods: The F-18 FDG PET/CT (computed tomography) scans of 46 consecutive newly diagnosed NPC patients were retrospectively reviewed. Maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) corrected for lean body mass of primary tumor (pSUVmax) and highest SUVmax of cervical lymph nodes (nSUVmax) were recorded. The association of FDG uptake and 2-year disease-free survival (DFS) was examined.

Results: Significantly better DFS was found in patients with pSUVmax <7.5 and nSUVmax <6.5 (P = 0.042 and P = 0.019, respectively). In multivariate analysis, both pSUVmax and nSUVmax were significant independent predictors of DFS.

Conclusions: The SUVmax of the primary tumor and nodal metastasis are useful parameters for predicting DFS in NPC patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Reference Standards
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18