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Acta Otolaryngol. 2010 Jul;130(7):756-62. doi: 10.3109/00016480903402981.

Standardized uptake value is of prognostic value for outcome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

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First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China.



The literature-based meta-analysis confirmed that increased standardized uptake value (SUV) of the primary tumor is a poor prognostic factor in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), which should be further confirmed in a meta-analysis based on individual patient data.


Primary tumor SUV, as measured by positron emission tomography (PET), has been studied as a potential prognostic factor for local control, disease-free survival, and overall survival. However, the limited sample sizes of the studies in the past led us to conduct a meta-analysis to improve the precision in estimating the effect of SUV on the prognosis of HNSCC.


Eight articles were identified by searching electronic databases. Statistical analysis was performed with RevMan 4.2.2. SUV measurement and SUV threshold for defining high SUV were studied dependently. For each publication, we first obtained an estimate of the relative risk (RR) for comparing patients with a low and a high SUV. Subsequently, we aggregated the individual RRs into a combined RR, using a fixed-effects model. Publication bias was assessed with funnel plot.


We identified eight clinical trials dedicated to HNSCC. The combined RR from five reports for the local control was 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.63-0.81). The combined RR of the disease-free survival from six reports was 0.63 (95% CI: 0.54-0.73). Meanwhile, the combined RR of the overall survival from three reports was 0.57 (95% CI: 0.44-0.74). The funnel plot showed symmetrical distribution, indicating no evidence of substantial publication bias.

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