Breast Cancer

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 99–103 | Cite as

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

  • Masatoshi Ohta
  • Yutaka Tokuda
  • Yuki Saitoh
  • Yasuhiro Suzuki
  • Akira Okumura
  • Mitsuhiro Kubota
  • Hiroyasu Makuuchi
  • Tomoo Tajima
  • Seiei Yasuda
  • Akira Shohtsu
Original Article



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.


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.


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


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.

Key words

Breast cancer PET Axillary lymph node metastases 



Positron emission tomography




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Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masatoshi Ohta
    • 1
  • Yutaka Tokuda
    • 1
  • Yuki Saitoh
    • 1
  • Yasuhiro Suzuki
    • 1
  • Akira Okumura
    • 1
  • Mitsuhiro Kubota
    • 1
  • Hiroyasu Makuuchi
    • 1
  • Tomoo Tajima
    • 1
  • Seiei Yasuda
    • 2
  • Akira Shohtsu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryTokai University School of MedicineJapan
  2. 2.Himedic Imaging Center at Lake YamanakakoJapan

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