Increased lesion detectability in patients with locally advanced breast cancer-A pilot study using dynamic whole-body [ 18F]FDG PET/CT.

Mette Abildgaard Pedersen*, André H Dias, Karin Hjorthaug, Lars C Gormsen, Joan Fledelius, Anna Lyhne Johnsson, Signe Borgquist, Trine Tramm, Ole Lajord Munk, Mikkel Holm Vendelbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Accurate diagnosis of axillary lymph node (ALN) metastases is essential for prognosis and treatment planning in breast cancer. Evaluation of ALN is done by ultrasound, which is limited by inter-operator variability, and by sentinel lymph node biopsy and/or ALN dissection, none of which are without risks and/or long-term complications. It is known that conventional 2-deoxy-2-[ 18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([ 18F]FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has limited sensitivity for ALN metastases. However, a recently developed dynamic whole-body (D-WB) [ 18F]FDG PET/CT scanning protocol, allowing for imaging of tissue [ 18F]FDG metabolic rate (MR FDG), has been shown to have the potential to increase lesion detectability. The study purpose was to examine detectability of malignant lesions in D-WB [ 18F]FDG PET/CT compared to conventional [ 18F]FDG PET/CT.

RESULTS: This study prospectively included ten women with locally advanced breast cancer who were referred for an [ 18F]FDG PET/CT as part of their diagnostic work-up. They all underwent D-WB [ 18F]FDG PET/CT, consisting of a 6 min single bed dynamic scan over the chest region started at the time of tracer injection, a 64 min dynamic WB PET scan consisting of 16 continuous bed motion passes, and finally a contrast-enhanced CT scan, with generation of MR FDG parametric images. Lesion visibility was assessed by tumor-to-background and contrast-to-noise ratios using volumes of interest isocontouring tumors with a set limit of 50% of SUVmax and background volumes placed in the vicinity of tumors. Lesion visibility was best in the MR FDG images, with target-to-background values 2.28 (95% CI: 2.04-2.54) times higher than target-to-background values in SUV images, and contrast-to-noise values 1.23 (95% CI: 1.12-1.35) times higher than contrast-to-noise values in SUV images. Furthermore, five imaging experts visually assessed the images and three additional suspicious lesions were found in the MR FDG images compared to SUV images; one suspicious ALN, one suspicious parasternal lymph node, and one suspicious lesion located in the pelvic bone.

CONCLUSIONS: D-WB [ 18F]FDG PET/CT with MR FDG images show potential for improved lesion detectability compared to conventional SUV images in locally advanced breast cancer. Further validation in larger cohorts is needed.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is registered in, NCT05110443, https://www.

CLINICALTRIALS: gov/study/NCT05110443?term=NCT05110443&rank=1 .

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalEJNMMI research
Pages (from-to)31
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024


  • Breast cancer
  • Dynamic imaging
  • PET/CT
  • Tumor detectability


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