Histopathologic Characterization of Lung Adenocarcinoma in Relation to Fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose Uptake on Positron Emission Tomography

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Fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake on positron emission tomography is reported to have prognostic significance in patients after resection of lung adenocarcinoma. However, its relationship with histopathologic features remains unknown.


We conducted a retrospective analysis of 205 patients who had undergone surgical resection of primary lung adenocarcinoma (>1.0 cm) after preoperative fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography between January 1999 and December 2008 at Hokkaido University Hospital. Fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake was measured by the maximum standardized uptake value. A histopathologic review was performed according to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society classification, and various histopathologic factors were evaluated semi-quantitatively. Correlations between these clinicopathologic factors and the maximum standardized uptake value (high ≥2.0 vs low <2.0) were analyzed.


Univariate analysis of clinicopathologic factors demonstrated that the following were significantly correlated with a high maximum standardized uptake value: an elevated carcinoembryonic antigen level, larger tumor size, upgraded pT, pN, pStage, non-lepidic histology, abundant fibroblastic/hyalinized stroma, necrosis, presence of pleural involvement, lymphatic and vascular invasion and more intra- and extracellular mucin. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that a tumor size of >2.0 cm, non-lepidic histology and abundant fibroblastic/hyalinized stroma were significantly correlated with the high maximum standardized uptake value.


More histopathologic factors are known to correlate with poor prognosis in lung adenocarcinomas showing high maximum standardized uptake values than in those showing low maximum standardized uptake values. Therefore, prognostication of patients with a resectable lung adenocarcinoma on the basis of preoperative fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake is histopathologically valid. Such observations may also help us to clarify the pathobiological mechanism responsible for the increased fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in lung adenocarcinomas with a poor prognosis.

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