Glucose utilization by visceral adipose tissue (VAT) reflects inflammatory activity, which also promotes tumor growth and carcinogenesis. The effect of metabolically active VAT on survival outcomes in breast cancer is unknown. We investigated survival outcomes in patients with breast cancer based on the standardized uptake value (SUV) of VAT (SUVmean-VAT) using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT). A total of 148 patients with breast cancer were divided into high- and low groups according to their SUVmean-VAT and SUVmax-tumor. Clinical characteristics and survival outcomes were compared between the groups. High SUVmean-VAT was associated with poor recurrence-free survival (RFS; hazard ratio [HR], 2.754; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.090–6.958, p = 0.032) and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS; HR, 3.500; 95% CI, 1.224–10.01, p = 0.019). Multivariate analysis showed that high SUVmean-VAT was a significant factor for poor RFS and poor DMFS (p = 0.023 and 0.039, respectively). High SUVmax-tumor was significantly associated with short RFS (p = 0.0388). Tumors with a high SUV tended to have a short DMFS, although the difference was not significant (p = 0.0718). Our findings showed that upregulated glucose metabolism in the VAT measured using 18F-FDG PET/CT may be a prognostic biomarker for adverse outcomes in breast cancer.
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