PURPOSE: Breast carcinomas express the Na(+)/I() symporter and may-albeit not a routine procedure-be imaged with (123)iodide ((123)I) and (99m)technetium-pertechnetate ((99m)TcO(4)(-)) scintigraphy. The aim of our prospective study was the comparison of (99m)TcO(4)(-)--and (123)I-single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with (18)F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in patients suspicious for breast cancer.
METHODS: Twenty-nine (29) untreated patients suspected of having breast carcinoma were prospectively examined with thorax SPECT with (99m)TcO(4)(-) (n=19) or (123)I (n=10), respectively, and FDG-PET (n=29) prior to biopsy. Tumor-to-background ratios (TBRs) were calculated for SPECT findings. Mean and maximum standardized uptake values (SUVs) were calculated for PET findings. Findings were compared in an intra-individual lesion-to-lesion analysis.
RESULTS: In 28 of 29 patients, malignancy was verified with histopathology. In imaging the primary tumor, sensitivities of (99m)TcO(4)(-)-SPECT, (123)I-SPECT, and FDG-PET were 63%, 67%, and 89%, respectively. TBR maximum was 2.6+/-1.1 in (99m)TcO(4)()-SPECT and 2.3+/-0.6 in (123)I-SPECT. In FDG-PET, mean tumor SUV was 4.1+/-4 and maximum tumor SUV was 5.4+/-5.1. In contrast to FDG-PET, (99m)TcO(4)()-SPECT was ineffective in imaging nodal and distant metastases in the thorax, and (123)I-SPECT failed in imaging lymph node infiltrations. Distant metastases were not present in patients of the (123)I group, and the value of (123)I-SPECT was not evaluated.
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to FDG-PET, (99m)TcO(4)(-) and (123)I-SPECT are ineffective in imaging breast carcinoma in clinical practice.