New review online on the advances and challenges in measuring hepatic glucose uptake with FDG PET

The review from our colleague Jeremy Basset is now online available and will be published in Diabetologia with the following title: “Advances and challenges in measuring hepatic glucose uptake with FDG PET: implications for diabetes research”. The full article can be found here: Read the abstract below.


The liver plays a crucial role in the control of glucose homeostasis and is therefore of great interest in the investigation of the development of type 2 diabetes. Hepatic glucose uptake (HGU) can be measured through positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with the tracer [18F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG). HGU is dependent on many variables (e.g. plasma glucose, insulin and glucagon concentrations), and the metabolic state for HGU assessment should be chosen with care and coherence with the study question. In addition, as HGU is influenced by many factors, protocols and measurement conditions need to be standardised for reproducible results. This review provides insights into the protocols that are available for the measurement of HGU by FDG PET and discusses the current state of knowledge of HGU and its impairment in type 2 diabetes. Overall, a scanning modality that allows for the measurement of detailed kinetic information and influx rates (dynamic imaging) may be preferable to static imaging. The combination of FDG PET and insulin stimulation is crucial to measure tissue-specific insulin sensitivity. While the hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp allows for standardised measurements under controlled blood glucose levels, some research questions might require a more physiological approach, such as oral glucose loading, with both advantages and complexities relating to fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels. The available approaches to address HGU hold great potential but await more systematic exploitation to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying metabolic diseases. Current findings from the investigation of HGU by FDG PET highlight the complex interplay between insulin resistance, hepatic glucose metabolism, NEFA levels and intrahepatic lipid accumulation in type 2 diabetes and obesity. Further research is needed to fully understand the underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for improving HGU in these conditions.