Pulmonary abnormalities and PET data analysis: a retrospective study

Radiology. 1997 Feb;202(2):435-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.202.2.9015070.


Purpose: To assess methods of standard uptake ratio (SUR) calculation with 2-deoxy-2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in indeterminate focal pulmonary abnormalities.

Materials and methods: One hundred ninety-seven adult patients with indeterminate pulmonary abnormalities had complete FDG PET data, consistent methods of data acquisition, and definitive diagnosis with tissue biopsy or negative 2-year follow-up findings. PET studies were evaluated by using SURs calculated with the average or maximum region-of-interest pixel value in the numerator and with weight, lean body mass, or body surface area in the denominator.

Results: One hundred twenty malignant lesions and 77 benign processes were identified. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve areas were statistically significantly larger with the average rather than the maximum pixel value in the calculation of the SUR for any of the three denominators (P < or = .05). SURs calculated with weight versus lean body mass versus body surface area in the denominator showed no statistically significant difference in ROC curve areas.

Conclusion: SURs determined by using average pixel values provide statistically significant improvement in ROC curve areas over those determined by using maximum pixel values. Weight, lean body mass, and body surface area in the denominator of the SUR calculation provide equivalent ROC curve areas and are therefore equivalent in accuracy in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose