A meta-analysis of scintimammography: an evidence-based approach to its clinical utility

Nucl Med Commun. 2006 Jul;27(7):589-94. doi: 10.1097/00006231-200607000-00007.


Background: Scintimammography using (99m)Tc-labelled isonitriles, sestamibi and tetrofosmin, has become a mature technique in the adjunctive setting for the diagnosis of primary breast cancer. To establish an evidence base for its use, clinically, a meta-analysis was performed on both single-site and multi-centre trials performed since January 1997.

Methods: Using an on-line literature search all such trials containing 100 or more studies were identified. To prevent double counting of patients only the last published report from any centre was used.

Results: A total of 2424 patients were identified in the single-site trial group, the smallest study having 105 patients and the largest 353 patients. The overall sensitivity was 85% and the specificity was 84%. In the multi-centre trial studies, published data from 3049 patients were included. The overall sensitivity in this group was also 85% and the specificity was 83%.

Conclusion: There is evidence that this is a robust imaging technique delivering high sensitivities and specificities in patients studied in both single-centre and multi-centre trials and, as such, can be relied on as an adjunctive method for the investigation of primary breast cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity