While the evident advantages of absolute metabolic rate determinations cannot be equalled by static image analysis of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomographic (FDG PET) studies, various algorithms for the normalization of static FDG uptake values have been proposed. This study was performed to compare different normalization procedures in terms of dependency on individual patient characteristics. Standardized FDG uptake values (SUVs) were calculated for liver and lung tissue in 126 patients studied with whole-body FDG PET. Uptake values were normalized for total body weight, lean body mass and body surface area. Ranges, means, medians, standard deviations and variation coefficients of these SUV parameters were calculated and their interdependency with total body weight, lean body mass, body surface area, patient height and blood sugar levels was calculated by means of regression analysis. Standardized FDG uptake values normalized for body surface area were clearly superior to SUV parameters normalized for total body weight or lean body mass. Variation and correlation coefficients of body surface area-normalized uptake values were minimal when compared with SUV parameters derived from the other normalization procedures. Normalization for total body weight resulted in uptake values still dependent on body weight and blood sugar levels, while normalization for lean body mass did not eliminate the positive correlation with lean body mass and patient height. It is concluded that normalization of FDG uptake values for body surface area is less dependent on the individual patient characteristics than are FDG uptake values normalized for other parameters, and therefore appears to be preferable for FDG PET studies in oncology.