Rationale and objectives: We sought to (1) describe associations between measures of tumor perfusion by dynamic contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), blood flow by (15)O-water positron emission tomography (PET) and metabolism by (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F)-FDG PET and (2) improve our understanding of tumor enhancement on MRI through independent measures of tumor metabolism and blood flow.
Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the existing PET and MRI databases from the Departments of Nuclear Medicine and Radiology. We identified patients with locally advanced breast cancer who underwent (15)O-water/(18)F-FDG PET within 1 month of clinical DCE-MRI between February 2004 and August 2006. The (15)O-water PET blood flow and (18)F-FDG metabolic rate and tissue transport constant (K(1)) in the primary malignancy were calculated. DCE-MRI peak percent enhancement and peak signal enhancement ratio (SER) were measured for each tumor. Correlations and regression analysis of these variables were performed.
Results: Fifteen patients with complete PET and DCE-MRI data were included in the analysis cohort. Peak SER correlated significantly with blood flow (r = 0.73, P = .002) and K(1) (r = 0.76, P = .001). However, peak SER did not correlate significantly with FDG metabolic rate (r = 0.44, P = .101). There were no significant correlations between peak percent enhancement and any of the PET parameters.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that tumor perfusion, represented by (15)O-water PET blood flow, is an important factor in the MRI enhancement of locally advanced breast cancer. A lack of correlation of FDG metabolic rate with blood flow and DCE-MRI kinetics suggests that (18)F-FDG PET provides complementary metabolic information independent of vascular factors.