Initial experience with FDG-PET/CT in the evaluation of breast cancer

  • Mitsuaki Tatsumi
  • Christian Cohade
  • Karen A. Mourtzikos
  • Elliot K. Fishman
  • Richard L. Wahl
Original Article



We retrospectively reviewed FDG-PET/CT images in patients with breast cancer to determine whether PET/CT improved the level of diagnostic confidence as compared with PET and to compare PET/CT and CT findings at the location of suspected malignancies.


The study included 75 patients with known breast cancer. The initial PET/CT study for each patient was retrospectively reviewed to determine whether improved diagnostic confidence (IDC) regarding lesion localization and characterization was observed with PET/CT as compared with PET alone. PET/CT and CT findings were compared regarding lesion characterization and staging in 69 of the 75 patients, and in the case of discordant findings, comparison with histological or informative follow-up results was also performed.


Fifty of the 75 patients exhibited increased FDG uptake in a total of 95 regions. In the comparison of PET/CT and PET, PET/CT resulted in IDC in 30 (60%) of these 50 patients and in 52 (55%) of the 95 regions. In the comparison between PET/CT and CT in 69 patients, PET/CT demonstrated a significantly better accuracy than CT (P<0.05). PET/CT showed definitely positive findings in 60 regions with malignancies, among which CT exhibited positive findings in 43 (72%). PET/CT and CT accurately staged 59 (86%) and 53 (77%) of the 69 patients, respectively.


PET/CT added incremental diagnostic confidence to PET in more than 50% of patients and regions with increased FDG uptake. PET/CT accurately detected more regions with malignancies than did CT. This initial evaluation suggests that PET/CT is preferable to PET or CT in the diagnosis of breast cancer.


FDG PET CT PET/CT Breast cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuaki Tatsumi
    • 1
  • Christian Cohade
    • 1
  • Karen A. Mourtzikos
    • 1
  • Elliot K. Fishman
    • 2
  • Richard L. Wahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of RadiologyJohns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyJohns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA

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