Clinical experience with Tc-99m MIBI imaging in patients with malignant tumors. Preliminary results and comparison with Tl-201

Clin Nucl Med. 1992 Mar;17(3):171-6. doi: 10.1097/00003072-199203000-00003.


Tc-99m MIBI imaging was performed in 34 patients with histopathologically proven malignant tumors. The study was performed in two steps. In the first step, only Tc-99m MIBI imaging was performed (Group 1). In the second step, both Tc-99m MIBI and Tl-201 imaging were performed for comparison (Group 2). Seventeen patients were studied in each step. The size of the smallest primary tumor (breast cancer) was 15 x 10 mm, and that of the largest (lung cancer) was 145 x 130 mm. Of the 34 patients, 26 showed Tc-99m MIBI uptake at the tumor site. In Group 1, 12 patients showed Tc-99m MIBI tumor uptake, but no uptake was detected in five patients (squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, teratoma of the testis, nonHodgkin's lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma of the lung). In Group 2, 13 patients showed both Tc-99m MIBI and Tl-201 uptake at the tumor site, but one patient with breast cancer showed only Tc-99m MIBI uptake, and three patients showed no Tc-99m MIBI and Tl-201 uptake (embryonal cell carcinoma of the testis, hepatocellular carcinoma). The overall sensitivity of Tc-99m MIBI imaging was 76.4%. In Group 2, the sensitivity was 82.3% for Tc-99m MIBI and 76.4% for Tl-201. Our preliminary clinical experience suggests that Tc-99m MIBI can be helpful in localizing malignant tumors and that its sensitivity is slightly higher than Tl-201.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Nitriles*
  • Organotechnetium Compounds*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Thallium Radioisotopes*


  • Nitriles
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Thallium Radioisotopes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi