Scintimammography with technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile: results of a prospective European multicentre trial

Eur J Nucl Med. 1998 Apr;25(4):375-85. doi: 10.1007/s002590050235.


The aim of the trial was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of scintimmammography with technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile (99mTc-MIBI) in the detection of primary breast cancer and to verify its clinical usefulness. A total of 246 patients with a suspicious breast mass or positive mammogram were included in this prospective European multicentre trial. At 5 min and 60 min (optional) p.i. two lateral prone images were acquired for 10 min each; 30 min p.i. one anterior image was acquired for 10 min. There were 253 lesions (195 palpable and 58 non-palpable), in respect of which histology revealed 165 cancers and 88 benign lesions. Institutional and blinded read results were correlated to core laboratory histopathology results obtained during excisional biopsy. Diagnostic accuracy for the detection of breast cancer was calculated per lesion. The overall sensitivity and specificity of blinded read scintimammography were 71% and 69%, respectively. For palpable lesions, the sensitivity of blinded read and institutional read scintimammography was 83% and 91%, respectively. Sensitivity was not dependent on the density of the breast tissue. Invasive ductal and invasive lobular cancers showed similar sensitivity. The sensitivity and specificity of mammography were 91% and 42%, respectively, and did not depend on the tumour size. In 60% of false-negative mammograms, 99mTc-MIBI was able to diagnose malignancy (true-positive). High-quality imaging with 99mTc-MIBI has a high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of primary breast cancer. Used as a complementary method, scintimammography with 99mTc-MIBI can help to diagnose breast cancer at an earlier stage in patients with dense breasts.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi