Fluorodeoxyglucose-PET in the management of breast cancer

Radiol Clin North Am. 2004 Nov;42(6):1113-22, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2004.08.005.


FDG-PET can be helpful in the diagnosis of primary breast cancer, especially in patients with dense breast tissue, significant fibrocystic changes, fibrosis after radiotherapy, and inconclusive results from MR imaging and other imaging modalities. PET has a limited role in patients with very small tumors and with well-differentiated and lobular types of breast cancer. In preoperative staging, FDG-PET has a low sensitivity for detection of regional lymph node involvement. Also, current PET imaging techniques can easily miss micrometastases. FDG-PET, however, has high positive predictive value for the axillary lymph node involvement, especially patient with advanced tumors. Compared with conventional imaging modalities, FDG-PET provides high diagnostic accuracy in detecting recurrent or metastatic breast carcinoma. FDG-PET seems to be highly useful for monitoring response to therapeutic interventions. This technique can identify response to therapy earlier than any other imaging method currently available. Obviously, identification of nonresponding patients could greatly improve patient management by allowing termination of ineffective and toxic therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / secondary
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18