Detection of Occult Foci of Breast Cancer Using Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging in Women with One Mammographic or Clinically Suspicious Breast Lesion

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Academic Radiology








Breast cancer; breast cancer imaging; breast-specific gamma imaging; nuclear medicine imaging of the breast


Rationale and Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine how often breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) identifies occult cancerous lesions in women with one suspicious lesion detected on mammography or physical exam. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the records of all patients who underwent BSGI between January 1, 2004, and June 4, 2007. Included in the study were 159 women who had one suspicious breast lesion on physical exam and/or mammography and who underwent BSGI to evaluate for occult lesions in the breast. All patients had one or more foci of cancer proven pathologically. BSGI findings were classified as normal or abnormal on the basis of the presence of focal radiotracer uptake. Results: BSGI detected additional suspicious lesions occult to mammography and physical exam in 46 of 159 women (29%). BSGI identified occult cancer in 14 of 40 women (35%) who underwent biopsy or excision because of BSGI findings and in 14 of the 159 (9%) women in this study. In nine women, the occult cancer was present in the same breast as the index lesion (6%), and in five women, the occult cancer was found in the contralateral breast (3%). Conclusions: BSGI is an effective imaging modality in the identification of mammographically and clinically occult cancer in women with one suspicious breast lesion. © 2010 AUR.

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