Associations between GLUT expression and SUV values derived from FDG-PET in different tumors-A systematic review and meta analysis

PLoS One. 2019 Jun 17;14(6):e0217781. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217781. eCollection 2019.


Purpose: Fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron-emission tomography (FDG-PET), quantified by standardized uptake values (SUV), is one of the most used functional imaging modality in clinical routine. It is widely acknowledged to be strongly associated with Glucose-transporter family (GLUT)-expression in tumors, which mediates the glucose uptake into cells. The present systematic review sought to elucidate the association between GLUT 1 and 3 expression with SUV values in various tumors.

Methods: MEDLINE library was screened for associations between FDG-PET parameters and GLUT correlation cancer up to October 2018.

Results: There were 53 studies comprising 2291 patients involving GLUT 1 expression and 11 studies comprising 405 patients of GLUT 3 expression. The pooled correlation coefficient for GLUT 1 was r = 0.46 (95% CI 0.40-0.52), for GLUT 3 was r = 0.35 (95%CI 0.24-0.46). Thereafter, subgroup analyses were performed. The highest correlation coefficient for GLUT 1 was found in pancreatic cancer r = 0.60 (95%CI 0.46-0.75), the lowest was identified in colorectal cancer with r = 0.21 (95% CI -0.57-0.09).

Conclusion: An overall only moderate association was found between GLUT 1 expression and SUV values derived from FDG-PET. The correlation coefficient with GLUT 3 was weaker. Presumably, the underlying mechanisms of glucose hypermetabolism in tumors are more complex and not solely depended on the GLUT expression.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / metabolism
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / metabolism*


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.