Texture analysis of high-resolution dedicated breast 18 F-FDG PET images correlates with immunohistochemical factors and subtype of breast cancer

  • Alexis Moscoso
  • Álvaro Ruibal
  • Inés Domínguez-Prado
  • Anxo Fernández-Ferreiro
  • Míchel Herranz
  • Luis Albaina
  • Sonia Argibay
  • Jesús Silva-Rodríguez
  • Juan Pardo-MonteroEmail author
  • Pablo AguiarEmail author
Original Article



This study aims to determine whether PET textural features measured with a new dedicated breast PET scanner reflect biological characteristics of breast tumors.


One hundred and thirty-nine breast tumors from 127 consecutive patients were included in this analysis. All of them underwent a 18F-FDG PET scan before treatment. Well-known PET quantitative parameters such as SUV m a x , SUV m e a n , metabolically active tumor volume (MATV) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) were extracted. Together with these parameters, local, regional, and global heterogeneity descriptors, which included five textural features (TF), were computed. Immunohistochemical classification of breast cancer considered five subtypes: luminal A like (LA), luminal B like/HER2 − (LB −), luminal B like/HER2+ (LB+), HER2-positive-non-luminal (HER2pnl), and triple negative (TN). Associations between PET features and tumor characteristics were assessed using non-parametric hypothesis tests.


Along with well-established associations, new correlations were found. HER2-positive tumors had significantly higher uptake (p < 0.001, AUCs > 0.70) and presented different global and regional heterogeneity (p = 0.002, p = 0.016, respectively, AUCs < 0.70). Nine out of ten analyzed features were significantly associated with immunohistochemical subtype. Uptake was lower for LA tumors (p < 0.001) with AUCs ranging from 0.71 to 0.88 for each subgroup comparison. Heterogeneity metrics were significantly associated when comparing LA and LB − (p < 0.01), being regional heterogeneity metrics more discriminative than any other parameter (AUC = 0.80 compared to AUC = 0.71 for SUV). LB+ and HER2pnl tumors also showed more regional heterogeneity than LA tumors (AUCs = 0.79 and 0.84, respectively). After comparison with whole-body PET studies, we observed an overall improvement in the classification ability of both non-heterogeneity metrics and textural features.


PET parameters extracted from high-resolution dedicated breast PET images showed new and stronger correlations with immunohistochemical factors and immunohistochemical subtype of breast cancer compared to whole-body PET.


18F-FDG Breast cancer PET Texture analysis Dedicated breast Heterogeneity 



This work was supported in part by the project PI14/02001 (Instituto de Salud Carlos III) cofunded by FEDER. JP-M is funded by Miguel Servet grant (CP12/03162), PA is funded by Ramón y Cajal grant (RYC-2015-17430) and AM is funded by IDIS predoctoral fellowship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest


Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the principles of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

259_2017_3830_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (853 kb)
(PDF 852 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis Moscoso
    • 1
  • Álvaro Ruibal
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Inés Domínguez-Prado
    • 1
  • Anxo Fernández-Ferreiro
    • 4
  • Míchel Herranz
    • 1
  • Luis Albaina
    • 5
  • Sonia Argibay
    • 1
  • Jesús Silva-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Juan Pardo-Montero
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Pablo Aguiar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author return OK on get
  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine Department and Molecular Imaging GroupComplexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela CHUS-IDISTravesía da Choupana s/nSpain
  2. 2.Molecular Imaging Group, Department of Radiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Santiago de Compostela (USC)Campus VidaSpain
  3. 3.Fundación TejerinaMadridSpain
  4. 4.Pharmacy Department and Pharmacology groupComplexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela CHUS-IDISTravesía da Choupana s/nSpain
  5. 5.Department of General SurgeryUniversity Hospital A Coruña (SERGAS)A CoruñaSpain
  6. 6.Medical Physics DepartmentComplexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela (CHUS)Travesía Choupana s/nSpain

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