The Role of Preoperative [18F]Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography in Predicting Early Recurrence After Curative Resection of Hepatocellular Carcinomas

Sung Gwe Ahn, Sung Hoon Kim, Tae Joo Jeon, Ho Jin Cho, Sae-Byeol Choi, Mi Jin Yun, Jong Doo Lee, Kyung Sik Kim

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake on positron emission tomography (PET) scan reflects tumor differentiation and predicts clinical outcome in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigated the correlation of PET scans with tumor differentiation and early tumor recurrence (time-to-recurrence <1 year). Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 93 patients with HCC who underwent curative resection at our hospital from August 2004 through December 2008. PET scans were performed preoperatively, and the maximum standardized uptake value of the tumor (SUV tumor) and the tumor-to-non-tumor SUV ratio (TNR) were calculated from FDG uptake. Results: Twenty-six (27. 9%) had recurrences and 12 of them (46. 2%) had early recurrences. SUV tumor and TNR correlated strongly with tumor differentiation (p <0. 001). Early recurrence-free and the overall survival rates in the low TNR group (TNR <2. 0) were higher than in the high TNR group (TNR ≥2. 0) (p = 0. 015, p = 0. 013). According to univariate analysis, predictors of early tumor recurrence were large tumor size (≥5 cm), high TNR (≥2), high SUV tumor (≥4), and high Edmoson-Steiner grade. However, on multivariate analysis, none of the examined factors were statistically significant independent predictor. Conclusion: PET scans reflect tumor differentiation in HCCs. Because high TNR (TNR ≥2) and SUV tumor (SUV ≥4) were these cutoff point significant predictors in univariate analysis, future studies with more statistical power are needed to assess the significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2044-2052
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 1



  • Early recurrence
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

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