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SUV values


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I'm a newbie here and doing research on the SUV values but unable to understand what it means so hopefully will get answers here. 

My PET Scan says increased SUV values up to 4.8. Could someone possibly help understandi what it is? 

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It's a measure of the "uptake" of glucose at various locations in the body. Because cancer involves uncontrolled cell growth, tumors typically take in more glucose (to feed them) than non-cancerous tissues. There are some parts of the body (e.g., the urinary system) that naturally have high glucose uptake. And even in those tissues where the SUV is abnormally high, it doesn't mean for sure that it's cancer. Moreover, the precise amount of uptake doesn't tell you anything definitive about any cancer that might be there. At most, it's suspicious and one more bit of evidence that something might be cancerous. 

Here's a fairly informative article written for laypeople: https://www.docpanel.com/blog/post/understanding-your-fdg-pet-scan.


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Great article. Thanks, @LexieCat.

It's interesting that my paralyzed left vocal cord had an increased SUV of 6.2 (from 4.8) in April, 6 months after a bulk Teflon injection. But as of this January, there was nothing. Plus post-radiation pneumonitis and inflammation caused an increase in SUV, but has since gone way down as all that damage has healed. 

So as the article says, you need a specialist to interpret these numbers. Reading PET scan reports without an oncologist's explanation can be scary. 

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Yup, things like inflammation can make spots light up, too.

I had a couple of ridiculously high SUVs on mine--one area 27.8 and another 35.5. Yet they didn't seem to indicate the cancer was particularly aggressive in those areas. One was a lymph node that is now normal in appearance and the other was the main tumor site, which has responded very well to chemo/immunotherapy.


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