Currently, the clinical role of positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (CT) in patients with breast cancer is to provide additional information in select scenarios in which results of conventional imaging are indeterminate or of limited utility. There is currently no clinical role for fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET in detection of breast cancer or evaluation of axillary lymph nodes, but these are areas of active research. FDG PET is complementary to conventional staging procedures and should not be a replacement for either bone scintigraphy or diagnostic CT. FDG PET and PET/CT have been shown to be particularly useful in the restaging of breast cancer, in evaluation of response to therapy, and as a problem-solving method when results of conventional imaging are equivocal. In these situations, FDG PET often demonstrates locoregional or unsuspected distant disease that affects management. PET has demonstrated a particular capability for evaluation of chemotherapy response in both patients with locally advanced breast carcinoma and those with metastatic disease.
Copyright RSNA, 2007.