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What is physiological FDG uptake on a PEt scan?

Lisa13Q's picture
Posts: 683
Joined: Jul 2009

I am reading my mother's report and there is this Physiological FDG uptake in her brain and lungs. I'm thinking this is not very good. ANy thoughts?

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

No, that does not sound good, but also not a huge huge surprise because of the way this awful disease often runs its course. It looks like my mom may have a bone met in her hip. Want to trade?

But seriously, we don't know what's to come except that we will be there to help. This time I think I'm packing for an extended stay.

Cindy Bear
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Lisa. I think (not sure) that FDG stands for the rad. glucose substance they inject into you. The SUV = standard uptake measure hows much different cells take in the FDG, the belief being that cancerous cells are more active and will take up more of the FDG. My mother's gyn/onc. said anything over 2.7 would indicate malignancy. So the fact that your mom had FDG uptake by itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.. but what was the SUV no. associated with that uptake? That would be the question. Of course, there are always variances and false positives and no two people are alike.
I wish your mom well and let us know what the resutls were. I'll be hoping and praying for good news.

nancy591's picture
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2009

Hmmmm.......I just looked at my pet/ct from 3/2/010...I do not have my latest from May. When I initial looked at it I thought the areas that say physiologic uptake meant just normal physiologic absorbtion of the glucose. Now that you mention it I do notice some ares say 'no abnormal uptake' and some areas say 'physiologic FDG uptake'. I also note that in the IMPRESSION section the only areas mentioned are the areas with hypermetabolic activity, not the areas with 'physiologic uptake'. I did see this when I first looked at the report but I assumed it was normal to have a physiologic uptake of glucose. Now I see it is not labled 'no abnormal uptake'. So, in short, I have NO idea what it means. These areas were never mentioned my any of my doctors. They only discssed the areas with the hypermetabolic activity. If anyone is interested the 'physiologic uptake' areas on my scan are: brain, large salivary glands, oropharynx and neck muscles. At the time of this scan I did have ongoing mouth sores. Maybe I'm reaching BUT I am not going to worry about it because I am on a new chemo regimen AND I am hoping for the best.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Like Cindy, I was told that an SUV of more than 2.7 indicated a malignancy. Other than that, I know nothing about the FDG uptake.

Does your mom's report, Lisa, give an SUV value? Or does yours, Nancy?


lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Some areas of the body light up on PET-scans just because those areas of your body absorb the glocose NORMALLY. I'm almost 100% sure that's what the noted "physiologic uptake" is. "NO uptake" means nothing is lit up at all: dark. & of course, those marked as metabolic uptake brighter than 2.7 are the ones that cause the heart-ache.

nancy591's picture
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2009

Only the hypermetabolic areas are given an SUV uptake. The physiologic uptake areas do not have an SUV uptake attached to them.

Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

including the brain, thyroid, and liver, if I remember right, since they are metabolizing the glucose that is injected prior to the scan. But if there is a tumor there, the SUV uptake amount is listed, along with the tumor size.

nancy591's picture
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2009

I asked my medical oncolgoist today about physiological uptake and I was told it was normal uptake. Nothing to be concerned with.


Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2017

I don't know if any of you still post here as these posts are quite old.  However, I wanted to thank the folks that posted above.  I am brand new to this site, had my first diagnosis 10 months ago, and had a PET scan last week.  I just received the findings online today and had a brief anxiety over this exact description.  Coming here and reading you explanation has pulled me back from the ledge.  Thank you all.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 1908
Joined: Mar 2013

Hey Tommy, some of the fabulous ladies here have left quite a legacy.  I know a few of them are no longer with us and I am hoping some have found some really awesome things to do with their life after cancer.   

The "below the belt" cancer check in on each other so I just wanted to say hi.  There is a wealth of information here, so while the basic treating of these cancers may be the same, these past few years have seen some different things thrown at it now.


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