, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 99-103

Comparative efficacy of positron emission tomography and ultrasonography in preoperative evaluation of axillary lymph node metastases in breast cancer

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Abstract

Purpose

In primary breast cancer, axillary nodal status is the most powerful predictive factor of recurrence. However, axillary lymph node dissection may cause surgical complications. If preoperative evaluation of axillary lymph node metastases is possible, unnecessary axillary lymph node dissections can be avoided. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of positron emission tomography (PET) on detection of axillary lymph node metastases in breast cancer.

Methods

PET scans of the axilla were obtained in 32 patients with primary breast cancer. All patients fasted for at least 4 hours before the examination. After transmission scans for attenuation correction were performed, emission scans after intravenous injection of 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) were obtained.

Results

Overall accuracy of PET alone, ultrasonography alone, and in combination in the detection of axillary metastases were 82%, 79%, and 85% respectively.

Conclusion

There were no significant differences between PET, ultrasonography, and PET in combination with ultrasonography regarding sensitivity, specificity and accuracy in the detection of axillary metastases.