Purpose: This study investigated the correlation between fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (F-FDG)-PET/computed tomography (CT) and clinicopathological factors in patients with mucinous breast carcinoma and assessed the feasibility of using F-FDG-PET/CT in evaluating tumors.
Patients and methods: We retrospectively examined 42 consecutive patients with pathologically proven mucinous breast carcinoma who preoperatively underwent F-FDG-PET/CT. In addition, we compared F-FDG uptake with clinicopathological characteristics.
Results: F-FDG uptake was observed in 39 (92.9%) lesions. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) (mean±SD) of all mucinous carcinoma, pure type, and mixed type was 2.3±1.3 (range: 1.0-5.1), 1.9±0.9 (range: 1.0-3.5), and 3.2±1.3 (range: 1.4-5.1), respectively. The mixed type had a significantly higher F-FDG uptake than the pure type (P=0.006). In addition, the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and area under the curve for distinguishing the pure type from the mixed type were 61.5, 89.7, 81.0, and 0.76, respectively (cutoff value: SUVmax>3.0). Furthermore, SUVmax correlated significantly with the high nuclear grade (P=0.010) and the presence of axillary lymph node metastasis (P=0.017).
Conclusion: F-FDG uptake efficiently distinguishes the pure type from the mixed type and may play a potential role in predicting the aggressiveness of mucinous breast carcinoma.