Purpose. We retrospectively compared the maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) of FDG PET in four different sites to evaluate whether a common diagnostic SUVmax threshold may exist in these tumor locations. We further postulate that the SUVmax thresholds are higher in thoracic lesions than in extrathoracic lesions. Material and methods. N = 143 patients in four subgroups underwent a FDG PET/CT: a) 42 patients for solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs) characterization with b) respective mediastinal lymph nodes (LNs), c) 65 patients for LN staging of head and neck cancer, and d) 36 cancer patients diagnosed with adrenal lesions. Receiver operating characteristics of SUVmax values were evaluated. Results. The SUVmax were statistically significantly greater in malignant than in benign lesions. For SPNs and mediastinal LNs, a SUVmax > 3.6 each resulted in a sensitivity of 81% and 87%, and a specificity of 94% and 89%. For cervical LNs and adrenal glands, a SUVmax > 2.2 each showed a sensitivity of 98% and 100%, and a specificity of 83% and 93%. Conclusion. A common SUVmax threshold did not exist in the four studied subgroups. The variable FDG uptake in SPNs and mediastinal LNs are associated with the high prevalence of inflammation/infection within the chest. Similar SUVmax thresholds however may exist for extrathoracic regions where the prevalence of inflammation/infection is low.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging