FDG PET and other imaging modalities in the primary diagnosis of suspicious breast lesions

K. Scheidhauer, C. Walter, M. D. Seemann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Mammography is the primary imaging modality for screening of breast cancer and evaluation of breast lesions (T staging). Ultrasonography is an adjunctive tool for mammographically suspicious lesions, in patients with mastopathy and as guidance for reliable histological diagnosis with percutaneous biopsy. Dynamic enhanced magnetic resonance mammography (MRM) has a high sensitivity for the detection of breast cancer, but also a high false positive diagnosis rate. In the literature, MRM is reported to have a sensitivity of 86-96%, a specificity of 64-91%, an accuracy of 79-93%, a positive predictive value (PPV) of 77-92% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 75-94%. In unclarified cases, metabolic imaging using fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) can be performed. In the literature, FDG PET is reported to have a sensitivity of 64-96%, a specificity of 73-100%, an accuracy of 70-97%, a PPV of 81-100% and an NPV of 52-89%. Furthermore, PET or PET/CT using FDG has an important role in the assessment of N and M staging of breast cancer, the prediction of tumour response in patients with locally advanced breast cancer receiving neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, and the differentiation of scar and cancer recurrence. Other functional radionuclide-based diagnostic tools, such as scintimammography with sestamibi, peptide scintigraphy or immunoscintigraphy, have a lower accuracy than FDG PET and, therefore, are appropriate only for exceptional indications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S70-S79
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • MR mammography
  • Sestamibi


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