Cardiac metabolic changes on 18 F-positron emission tomography after thoracic radiotherapy predict for overall survival in esophageal cancer patients

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Journal of applied clinical medical physics [electronic resource] / American College of Medical Physics


PURPOSE: Heart doses have been shown to be predictive of cardiac toxicity and overall survival (OS) for esophageal cancer patients. There is potential for functional imaging to provide valuable cardiac information. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cardiac metabolic dose-response using 18 F-deoxyglucose (FDG)-PET and to assess whether standard uptake value (SUV) changes in the heart were predictive of OS.

METHODS: Fifty-one patients with esophageal cancer treated with radiation who underwent pre- and post-treatment FDG-PET scans were retrospectively evaluated. Pre- and post-treatment PET-scans were rigidly registered to the planning CT for each patient. Pre-treatment to post-treatment absolute mean SUV (SUVmean) changes in the heart were calculated to assess dose-response. A dose-response curve was generated by binning each voxel in the heart into 10 Gy dose-bins and analyzing the SUVmean changes in each dose-bin. Multivariate cox proportional hazard models were used to assess whether pre-to-post treatment cardiac SUVmean changes predicted for OS.

RESULTS: The cardiac dose-response curve demonstrated a trend of increasing cardiac SUV changes as a function of dose with an average increase of 0.044 SUV for every 10 Gy dose bin. In multivariate analysis, disease stage and SUVmean change in the heart were predictive (p < 0.05) for OS.

CONCLUSIONS: Changes in pre- to post-treatment cardiac SUV were predictive of OS with patients having a higher pre- to post-treatment cardiac SUV change surviving longer.


Online ahead of print.

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