Determinants of physiologic 18F-FDG uptake in brown adipose tissue in sequential PET/CT examinations

Leonardo Pace, Emanuele Nicolai, Domenico D'Amico, Francesco Ibello, Anna Maria Della Morte, Barbara Salvatore, Laura Micol Pizzuti, Marco Salvatore, Andrea Soricelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess independent predictors of 2-deoxy-2-[ 18F]fluoro-Dglucose ( 18F-FDG) uptake in brown adipose tissue (BAT) in patients undergoing repeated positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans. Procedures: Eight hundred forty-eight (mean age 50.9±16 years) patients in whom PET/CT scan was repeated (mean interval 5±1.5 months) constituted the study group. 18F-FDG uptake in characteristic areas of BAT, with CT density of adipose tissue, greater than background softtissue activity was considered as evidence of BAT uptake. Both distribution and maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were registered. Clinical and anamnestic data were collected for each patient. Results: 18F-FDG uptake in BAT was present in 8.6% patients at first scan. Independent predictors of presence of uptake were age (younger), gender (female), body mass index (lower), andmaximum outdoor temperature (lower). Age was the only independent predictor of BAT 18F-FDG uptake distribution, while SUVmax was related to both age and outdoor temperature. Independent determinants of persistence of BAT 18F-FDG uptake at second PET/CT were outdoor temperature at time of second scan and extension of metabolically active BAT at first scan. Conclusions: Age, body mass index, and outdoor temperature are significant determinants of BAT evidence at 18F-FDG PET/CT. Moreover, extension of BAT and outdoor temperature are the strongest determinants of persistence of BAT evidence on 18F-FDG PET/CT in repeated scan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1035
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • F-FDG
  • Brown adipose tissue
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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