Evaluation of palpable breast masses with 99Tcm-MIBI: a comparative study with mammography and ultrasonography

Nucl Med Commun. 1994 Aug;15(8):604-12. doi: 10.1097/00006231-199408000-00005.


We evaluated the feasibility of 99Tcm-methoxyisobutylisonitrile (MIBI) as a tumour localizing agent in patients with palpable breast masses in comparison with mammography and ultrasonography (US). Forty-one patients with palpable masses were studied. An additional 12 women with no palpable breast anomaly also underwent 99Tcm-MIBI breast study. Multiple views were obtained and semiquantitative evaluation was applied. Mammography and US revealed all of the malignant breast masses but differential diagnosis of fibroadenomas could not be achieved. Twenty-five of 27 breast carcinomas were detected using 99Tcm-MIBI scintigraphy. Two patients with invasive lobular carcinoma showed absent MIBI accumulation. Eight of 14 axillary lymph-node metastases showed positive uptake (57%). Twelve of 14 patients with pathologically proven benign breast lesions did not demonstrate any MIBI accumulation. Focal MIBI uptake could be observed in two fibroadenomas. The sensitivity and the specificity of semiquantitative MIBI analysis were 93 and 86%, respectively. Subjective grading offered no additional help in the further differentiation of malignant breast masses. There was no significant difference between histopathological types of breast carcinomas and uptake grades. Our results indicate that 99Tcm-MIBI scintigraphy may provide additional information in the differentiation of malignant pathologies from benign lesions in patients with palpable breast anomalies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Ultrasonography*


  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi