68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT: The Optimum Standardized Uptake Value (SUV) Internal Reference.
Objectives: Standardized Uptake Value (SUV) is an important semiquantitative measurement used in the clinical and research domains to assess radiopharmaceutical concentration in tumors versus normal organs, but is susceptible to many factors beyond the tumor biological environment. So, the aim of this study is to identify the optimum internal reference among organs with physiological uptake in 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT (DOTA PET/CT) scans. Materials and
Methods: This HIPAA-compliant, IRB-approved study with waiver of consent included retrospective imaging review of 180 consecutive patients with neuroendocrine tumors presenting for DOTA PET/CT image acquisition: Ga-68 DOTATATE dose was reported as (0.054 mCi/Kg) scans between September 2018 and May 2019. Mean value of body weight normalized SUV (SUVbw) and lean body mass normalized SUV (SUL) of liver and spleen were measured. Information about the patients and scan characteristics were collected. The paired Grambsch test was used to compare variance among the measured SUVs. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was used to assess correlation between SUVs and potential patient- and scan-specific confounding factors.
Results: Variance of SUL was significantly lower than variance of SUVbw in both liver and spleen (p-value < 0.0001). Variances of liver SUVbw and SUL were significantly lower than the corresponding spleen SUVs. Liver SUL showed the lowest variance (3.69% ± 1.25%) among all measured SUVs.
Conclusion: SUL is a more reproducible, less variable, and therefore more reliable quantitative measure in DOTA PET/CT scans, compared SUVbw. Among the available organs with physiological uptake, liver SUL is the optimum internal reference given the liver's larger size and uniform SUL values resulting in lower variability and better reproducibility.