Follow-up of women with breast cancer: comparison between MRI and FDG PET

Eur Radiol. 2003 Jul;13(7):1635-44. doi: 10.1007/s00330-002-1720-8. Epub 2002 Nov 13.


The aim of this study was to compare MRI of the breast with (18)F-fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with suspected local or regional breast cancer recurrence or suspected contralateral breast cancer. Thirty-two patients (mean age 57.2 years, age range 32-76 years) with suspected loco-regional recurrence ( n=19), chest wall recurrence ( n=5), and suspected secondary tumor of the contralateral breast ( n=8) underwent MRI of the breast and FDG PET of the whole body and breast region. Cytology/histology ( n=17) or a clinical follow-up examination ( n=15) with additional imaging served as the standard of reference. A McNemar test was performed to compare PET and MRI, and kappa was determined to quantify agreement of both methods. Sensitivity was 79 and 100%, specificity was 94 and 72%, and accuracy was 88 and 84% for MRI and PET, respectively. Additional metastases outside the field of view of MRI were found in PET in 5 patients. In this study both imaging methods had comparable accuracy. The detection of distant metastases with whole-body PET imaging can influence patient management.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Gadolinium DTPA