Analysis of blood flow and glucose metabolism in mammary carcinomas and normal breast: a H2(15)O PET and 18F-FDG PET study

Nucl Med Commun. 2007 Oct;28(10):789-97. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e3282e2a880.


Objective: To determine parameters of perfusion, distribution coefficient, and glucose metabolism as part of the tumour-specific micromilieu of breast cancer and compare them with corresponding values in normal breast tissue.

Methods: H2(15)O PET and 18F-FDG PET were performed on 10 patients with advanced invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast. Perfusion, distribution coefficient, and glucose metabolism and standardized uptake were quantified and analysed.

Results: Mean values based on the regions of interest were 59.2+/-43.9 ml x min(-1) x 100 g(-1) (perfusion), 0.58+/-0.26 ml x g(-1) (distribution coefficient), 7.76+/-6.10 (standardized uptake), and 5.4+/-2.5 mg x min(-1) x 100 g(-1) (glucose metabolism). The corresponding values for normal breast tissue were 22.1+/-13.2 ml x min x 100 g(-1) (perfusion), 0.16+/-0.05 ml x g(-1) (distribution coefficient), 0.33+/-0.07 (standardized uptake), and 0.18+/-0.08 mg x min x 100 g(-1) (glucose metabolism). For each tumour-normal tissue parameter pair, the mean values were significantly higher in tumours than normal breast tissue. Region-of-interest and pixel-wise correlation analysis revealed a positive association between glucose metabolism and distribution coefficient and glucose metabolism and perfusion for 7/10 tumours investigated.

Conclusions: H2(15)O PET and 18F-FDG PET were able to differentiate breast cancer and normal breast tissue. The pixel-wise analysis revealed information about the heterogeneity of tumour fine structure in perfusion, distribution coefficient, and glucose metabolism, which may provide important guidelines for improving individual treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacokinetics*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Water / metabolism


  • Oxygen Radioisotopes
  • Water
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose