Expressions of HKII and Glut-1 were studied in untreated primary human breast cancers by immunohistochemistry. 79% of the breast cancers were HKII-positive and 61% were Glut-1-positive. Average positive malignant cell areas were 66 +/- 41% for HKII and 29 +/- 36% for Glut-1. HKII staining was cytoplasmic, suggesting mitochondrial localization with no variations in staining intensities. Glut-1 staining was heterogeneous, cytoplasmic and membranous and varied with histology and tumor stage. Cells expressing HKII did not always express Glut-1 and vice versa. Increased FDG-uptake appeared to be associated with increased Glut-1 expression (P = 0.021), but not with HKII expression (p = 0.6).FDG uptake in breast cancer tissue appears to be associated with the extent of immunodetectable expression of Glut-1, but not that of HKII, and FDG uptake may differ between individual tumors depending on tumor stage and histology.