Background: In breast cancer, mammography (MG) fails to reveal malignancy in 10% to 15% of patients, and its sensitivity is limited by dense breast tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of 99m-Tc-sestamibi scintimammography (SMM) in conjunction with MG and fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology in the detection of low-stage breast cancer.
Methods: A total of 64 women (median age 58 years, range 32–86 years), 53 (82.8%) with palpable and 11 (17.2%) with nonpalpable breast mass, underwent SMM; 61 patients had MG and 62 underwent FNA cytology. At histological examination, breast cancer was found in 59 (92.2%) of the women (pTis = 2, pT1a = 2, pT1b = 13, pT1c = 20, pT2 = 22).
Results: Of the 61 patients who had MG, 45 (73.8%) showed signs of cancer or abnormalities. Of the 62 patients who had FNA cytology, 55 (88.7%) showed malignancy. In 5 (8.1%) patients, atypical ductal hyperplasia or complex sclerosing lesions were found. MG, SMM, and FNA cytology were 80.4%, 78.0%, and 96.5% sensitive, respectively, and their positive predictive value was 97.8%, 100%, and 100%, respectively. In all patients, cancer was at least detected by one of these three techniques.
Conclusions: In women with suspicious MG or abnormal FNA cytology that required further investigations, SMM may be helpful in surgical planning and should be considered in most patients before biopsy as an additional noninvasive procedure.