Clinical and Translational Imaging

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 99–104 | Cite as

Head-to-head comparison between 18F-FDG PET/CT and PET/MRI in breast cancer

  • Laura EvangelistaEmail author
  • Lea Cuppari
  • Marta Burei
  • Alessandra Zorz
  • Francesca Caumo
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Breast



The aim of the present review is to assess the diagnostic performance of PET/CT and PET/MRI in breast cancer patients, by a head-to-head comparison.

Materials and methods

Two reviewers conducted the literature search, study inclusion and data extraction in duplicate. A literature search for studies on a head-to-head comparison between PET/CT and PET/MRI in breast cancer patients was carried out. MEDLINE databases, such as PubMed and Scopus were consulted using the following keywords: “PET/CT” AND “PET/MRI” AND “breast cancer”. Data about the diagnostic accuracy was collected, if available, in terms of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.


Between 2014 and 2018, 8 articles were available about the head-to-head comparison between PET/CT and PET/MRI in breast cancer patients. PET/CT has a lower sensitivity for the detection of contralateral breast cancer and bone metastasis as compared to PET/MRI. PET/MRI and PET/CT has a similar diagnostic accuracy for the detection of axillary, internal mammary and mediastinal lymph node involvement. Semiquantitative parameters by PET/MRI are higher than those computed by PET/CT, but a strong organ-specific correlation between them was found.


PET/MRI has some advantages in breast cancer, being able to detect more primary and skeletal/non-skeletal distant metastases, as compared to PET/CT, thanks to the advantages from the combined MRI.


PET/CT PET/MRI FDG Data accuracy Comparative study 



The authors are thankful to the Department of Nuclear Medicine, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy for providing representative images of PET/CT and PET/MRI in breast cancer.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animals rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

40336_2019_319_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine UnitVeneto Institute of Oncology IOV - IRCCSPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Breast Radiology UnitVeneto Institute of Oncology IOV - IRCCSPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Physic UnitVeneto Institute of Oncology IOV - IRCCSPaduaItaly

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