Reevaluation of the standardized uptake value for FDG: Variations with body weight and methods for correction

Yoshifumi Sugawara, Kenneth R. Zasadny, Alex W. Neuhoff, Richard L. Wahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To reevaluate the relationships between standardized uptake values (SUVS) and body weight by using positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-[fluorine 18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG). MATERIALS AND METHODS: FDG PET scanning was performed in 138 female patients with known or suspected primary breast cancers. SUVs in blood and tumor (n = 79) were calculated by using body weight (SUV(bw)), ideal body weight (SUV(ibw)), lean body mass (SUV(ibw)), and body surface area (SUV(bsa)) on images obtained 50-60 minutes after the injection of FDG. RESULTS: There was a strong positive correlation between the blood SUV(bw) and body weight (r = 0.705, P < .001). The blood SUV(ibw) reduced the weight dependence but showed a negative correlation with body weight (r = -0.296, P < .001). Both the blood SUV(ibm) and SUV(bsa) eliminated the weight dependence and showed no correlation with body weight (r = -0.010, P = .904 and r = 0.106, P = .215, respectively). Although there was a wide variance in the tumor SUV(bw), it showed a weak but significant positive correlation with body weight (r = 0.207, P = 033). Plots of the tumor SUV(ibm) and SUV(bsa) versus body weight showed relatively flat slopes. CONCLUSION: SUV(ibm) and SUV(bsa) are weight-independent indices for FDG uptake, and SUV(ibm) appears to be more appropriate for quantifying FDG uptake to avoid overestimation of glucose utilization in obese patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-525
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1999


  • Breast neoplasms, PET
  • Breast neoplasms, radionuclide studies
  • Fluorine, radioactive
  • Glucose
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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