Background. The objective of the study was to compare the diagnostic efficacy of an integrated Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) PET/CT-mammography (mammo-PET/CT) with conventional torso PET/CT (supine-PET/CT) and MR-mammography for initial assessment of breast cancer patients.
Patients and methods. Forty women (52.0 ± 12.0 years) with breast cancer who underwent supine-PET/CT, mammo- PET/CT, and MR-mammography from April 2009 to August 2009 were enrolled in the study. We compared the size of the tumour, tumour to chest wall distance, tumour to skin distance, volume of axillary fossa, and number of metastatic axillary lymph nodes between supine-PET/CT and mammo-PET/CT. Next, we assessed the difference of focality of primary breast tumour and tumour size in mammo-PET/CT and MR-mammography. Histopathologic findings served as the standard of reference.
Results. In the comparison between supine-PET/CT and mammo-PET/CT, significant differences were found in the tumour size (supine-PET/CT: 1.3 ± 0.6 cm, mammo-PET/CT: 1.5 ± 0.6 cm, p < 0.001), tumour to thoracic wall distance (1.8 ± 0.9 cm, 2.2 ± 2.1 cm, p < 0.001), and tumour to skin distance (1.5 ± 0.8 cm, 2.1 ± 1.4 cm, p < 0.001). The volume of axillary fossa was significantly wider in mammo-PET/CT than supine-PET/CT (21.7 ± 8.7 cm3 vs. 23.4 ± 10.4 cm3, p = 0.03). Mammo-PET/CT provided more correct definition of the T-stage of the primary tumour than did supine-PET/ CT (72.5% vs. 67.5%). No significant difference was found in the number of metastatic axillary lymph nodes. Compared with MR-mammography, mammo-PET/CT provided more correct classification of the focality of lesion than did MR-mammography (95% vs. 90%). In the T-stage, 72.5% of cases with mammo-PET/CT and 70% of cases with MRmammography showed correspondence with pathologic results.
Conclusions. Mammo-PET/CT provided more correct definition of the T-stage and evaluation of axillary fossa may also be delineated more clearly than with supine-PET/CT. The initial assessment of mammo-PET/CT would be more useful than MR-mammography because the mammo-PET/CT indicates similar accuracy with MR-mammography for decision of T-stage of primary breast tumour and more correct than MR-mammography for defining focality of lesion.