Objective: To evaluate the prognostic role of maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) measured by FDG–positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) in patients with primary lung adenocarcinoma undergoing surgical resection. Methods: All consecutive patients undergoing curative surgery for primary lung adenocarcinoma at the Thoracic Surgery Unit of the University Hospital of Parma between January 2009 and December 2014 were retrospectively analyzed. The cutoff point of each continuous PET parameter was determined through receiver operating characteristic curve and Youden index, using overall survival (OS) as the classification status. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were applied to evaluate the association between OS and potential prognostic variables, including SUVmax, MTV, and TLG. Results: A total of 193 patients were considered eligible for this study. The mean 5-year OS rate was 70.5 ± 3.5%. Acinar and lepidic patterns were more frequently associated with absent or low (<2.5) SUVmax values [18F]FDG uptake. At univariate analysis, male sex, advanced stage, micropapillary and solid pattern, lymphatic, blood vessels and pleural invasion, high SUVmax, MTV, and TLG were significantly associated with poorer OS. Multivariate analyses revealed that only sex, stage, and TLG were independent factors for OS, with male sex, stage 3+4, and high TLG value (p = 0.041) significantly associated with poorer OS. Conclusions: In this study, [18F]FDG PET/CT parameters SUVmax, MTV, and TLG were prognostic factors in patients with surgically resected lung adenocarcinoma, able to predict OS and helping to further stratify these patients into prognostic subsets. Elevated TLG was also an independent predictor for shorter OS.
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