, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 1736-1741
Date: 21 Jul 2006

Preoperative Positron Emission Tomography with Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose is Predictive of Prognosis in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Resection

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Hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) accumulate fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to various degrees. The standardized uptake values (SUVs) of FDG-positron emission tomography (PET) in high-grade HCCs are significantly higher than those in low-grade HCCs.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible usefulness of FDG-PET in predicting the prognosis of HCC patients after resection. We analyzed the relationship between the tumor to non-tumor SUV ratios (SUV ratio) and surgical outcome in 31 patients.


Of the 31 cases of HCC studied, seven (23%) exhibited SUV ratios greater than 2, as the cutoff value. The percentage of patients with poorly differentiated HCC was greater in the higher SUV ratio group (SUV ratio >2) than in the lower SUV ratio group (SUV ratio <2) (57 vs. 32%). The overall survival was significantly longer in the lower SUV ratio group than in the higher SUV ratio group (5-year-survival rate: 63 vs. 29% P = 0.006) (median survival time: 2310 vs.182 days).


The SUV ratio was related significantly to disease-related death as well as other predictive factors, including the number of tumors, the size, stage, and involvement of vessels, and the involvement of the capsule. Consequently, we conclude that the SUV ratio provides information of prognostic relevance in patients with HCC before surgery.