L-1-C-11-tyrosine PET in patients with laryngeal carcinomas: Comparison of standardized uptake value and protein synthesis rate

J de Boer, J Pruim, B F A M van der Laan, T H Que, A T M Willemsen, F W J Albers, W Vaalburg

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PET with L-1-C-11-tyrosine (TYR) can measure and quantify increased protein synthesis in tumor tissue in vivo. For quantification of the protein synthesis rate (PSR), arterial cannulation with repeated blood sampling to obtain the plasma input function and a dynamic TYR PET study to calculate a time-activity curve are necessary. In most PET studies the standardized uptake value (SUV) method is used to quantify tumor activity. The SUV can be calculated without repeated arterial blood sampling and prolonged scanning time, as required for determination of the PSR. The relationship between PSR and SUV is largely unknown and different factors can cause wide variability in the SUV. Therefore, the comparison of the absolute quantification method (PSR) with the SUV method is obligatory to determine the possible use of noninvasive PET in head and neck oncology. Methods: Twenty-four patients with proven squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx (T1-T4) were studied using dynamic TYR PET. The PSRs of tumor and nontumor (background) regions were determined. Four different methods were used to calculate the SUV: uncorrected SUV (SUVBW); and SUVs corrected for body surface area (SUVBSA), for lean body mass (SUVLBM), and for the Quetelet index (SUVQI). Correlations between PSR values and SUVs were calculated. Results: The PSR of all tumors was significantly higher (P <0.001) than the PSR of nontumor tissue. The correlations of SUVBW, SUVBSA, SUVLBM, and SUVQI with the quantitative values of the PSR were high (r = 0.84-0.90). The best correlation was observed with the SUV based on the LBM (SUVLBM), Conclusion: High correlation between the quantitative values (PSR) and the SUVs offers the possibility to use noninvasive TYR PET for detection and reliable quantification of primary head and neck tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2003


  • L-1-C-11-tyrosine
  • PET
  • head and neck carcinoma
  • quantification
  • protein synthesis rate
  • standardized uptake value
  • HEAD
  • FDG
  • L-<1-C-11>-TYROSINE

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