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18F-FDG PET/CT, CE-MRI 3T Equal in Diagnosing Suspicious Breast Lesions

September 1, 2015 - Diagnostic accuracy for suspicious breast lesions >10 mm was equal between 18F-FDG PET/CT (fludeoxyglucose F 18 positron emission tomography/computed tomography) and CE-MRI (contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging ) at 3 tesla (3T), according to a recent study published in European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.1 However, for lesions <10 mm, diagnostic accuracy detiorated for both techniques, and CE-MRI at 3 T seemed to be more sensitive but less specific than 18F-FDG PET/CT.

The researchers evaluated 172 patients with an imaging abnormality to determine he influence of tumour size on diagnostic accuracy and the use of maximum standardized uptake value (SUVMAX) thresholds to differentiate malignant from benign breast lesions. All patients underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT and CE-MRI of the breast at 3 T in the prone position. There were 132 malignant and 40 benign lesions; 23 lesions (13.4 %) were <10 mm. They found no significant difference in diagnostic accuracy as both 18F-FDG PET/CT and CE-MRI achieved an overall diagnostic accuracy of 93%. Diagnostic accuracy dropped to 91% with lesions <10 mm, and CE-MRI at 3T was more sensitive but less specific than 18F-FDG PET/CT.

Image: 3T MRI is coupled with the latest 3-D color-flow computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) software.2

The authors concluded that 18F-FDG PET/CT and CE-MRI at 3T showed equal diagnostic accuracies in breast cancer diagnosis, and that quantitative assessment using an SUVMAX threshold for differentiating benign from malignant lesions was not helpful in breast cancer diagnosis.


1. Magometschnigg HF, Baltzer PA, Fueger B, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT compared with that of contrast-enhanced MRI of the breast at 3 T. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 1656-1665. (

2. Why should women consider a 3T MRI for breast screening? October 21st, 2013.