Breast cancer diagnosis by scintimammography: a meta-analysis and review of the literature

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2003 Jul;80(1):115-26. doi: 10.1023/A:1024417331304.


Scintimammography is a relatively new, non-invasive diagnostic modality in the evaluation of breast cancer. The purpose of the current study was to review the existing literature on the accuracy of scintimammography in the diagnosis of breast cancer. A search of all articles published between 1st January 1967 and 31st December 1999 was conducted. A total of 64 unique studies were selected. Each scientific paper was reviewed for scientific merit by an epidemiologist, a surgeon and a surgical resident. Assessment of scientific merit was based on a scoring scheme developed for the study. The articles included in this review reported data on a total of 5340 patients assessed for breast cancer with scintimammography. The aggregated summary estimates on these patients were sensitivity: 85.2% and specificity: 86.6%. For patients with a palpable mass the sensitivity and specificity were 87.8 and 87.5%, respectively. For patients without a palpable mass the sensitivity was 66.8% and that for specificity was 86.9%. The results of this review have shown that scintimammography may be used effectively as an adjunct to mammography and physical examination in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / methods*
  • ROC Curve
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Radiopharmaceuticals