, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 56-63

Scintimammography with 99mTc-MIBI versus dynamic MRI for non-invasive characterization of breast masses

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Although mammography remains the technique of choice for the early detection of breast cancer, several imaging techniques, including scintimammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have recently been proposed as adjuncts for this purpose and included in many diagnostic protocols. This study was undertaken to assess the clinical accuracy of scintimammography with technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile (MIBI) and contrast-enhanced MRI in the detection of primary breast carcinoma in patients with equivocal mammographic findings. Forty-nine patients with a suspicious breast mass detected either by physical examination or by mammography and ultrasound (US) were studied. All patients underwent scintimammography and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI 1 week apart. The results of the two techniques were compared and correlated to the final diagnoses. Two independent readers reported the scans using a four-point confidence scale. The areas under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were obtained. Scintimammography showed an accuracy for tumour detection of 84%, with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 88%. MRI showed an accuracy of 86%, with a sensitivity and specificity of 96% and 75%, respectively. Comparison of the two areas under the ROC curves showed no significant differences between MRI, 0.91±0.05 (mean±SD), and scintimammography, 0.88±0.05 (P=0.9). It is concluded that dynamic MRI and scintimammography possess comparable accuracy in the diagnosis of primary breast carcinoma in patients with equivocal mammographic or US findings.

Received 31 August and in revised form 25 September 2000
Electronic Publication