To evaluate the usefulness of Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18-F FDG-PET/CT) in the prediction of Fuhrman pathological grades of renal clear cell carcinoma (cRCC). This retrospective study was approved by our institutional review board, and written informed consent was waived. Thirty-one patients with pathologically proven cRCC underwent 18-F FDG-PET/CT for tumour staging. Maximum standardized uptake value of cRCC (tumour SUVmax) and mean SUV of the liver and spleen (liver and spleen SUVmean) were measured by two independent observers. Tumour SUVmax, tumour-to-liver SUV ratio, and tumour-to-spleen SUV ratio were correlated with the pathological grades. Logistic analysis demonstrated that only the tumour-to-liver SUV ratio was a significant parameter for differentiating high-grade (Fuhrman grades 3 and 4) tumours from low-grade (Fuhrman grades 1 and 2) tumours (P = 0.007 and 0.010 for observers 1 and 2, respectively). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for detecting tumours of Fuhrman grades 3 and 4 were 64, 100, 100, and 77%, respectively, for observer 1, and 79, 88, 85, and 83%, respectively, for observer 2. The tumour-to-liver SUV ratio with 18-F FDG-PET/CT appeared to be a valuable imaging biomarker in the prediction of high-grade cRCC. • Tumour SUV max was correlated with the Fuhrman grades. • High-grade tumours have significantly higher SUV max than low-grade tumours. • Tumour-to-liver SUV ratio is useful in the prediction of high-grade cRCC.