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14.09.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2018 Open Access

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2/2018

Added value of dedicated axillary hybrid 18F-FDG PET/MRI for improved axillary nodal staging in clinically node-positive breast cancer patients: a feasibility study

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging > Ausgabe 2/2018
Autoren:
Thiemo J. A. van Nijnatten, B. Goorts, S. Vöö, M. de Boer, L. F. S. Kooreman, E. M. Heuts, J. E. Wildberger, F. M. Mottaghy, M. B. I. Lobbes, M. L. Smidt

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the feasibility and potential added value of dedicated axillary 18F-FDG hybrid PET/MRI, compared to standard imaging modalities (i.e. ultrasound [US], MRI and PET/CT), for axillary nodal staging in clinically node-positive breast cancer.

Methods

Twelve patients with clinically node-positive breast cancer underwent axillary US and dedicated axillary hybrid 18F-FDG PET/MRI. Nine of the 12 patients also underwent whole-body PET/CT. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were measured for the primary breast tumor and the most FDG-avid axillary lymph node. A positive axillary lymph node on dedicated axillary hybrid PET/MRI was defined as a moderate to very intense FDG-avid lymph node. The diagnostic performance of dedicated axillary hybrid PET/MRI was calculated by comparing quantitative and its qualitative measurements to results of axillary US, MRI and PET/CT. The number of suspicious axillary lymph nodes was subdivided as follows: N0 (0 nodes), N1 (1–3 nodes), N2 (4–9 nodes) and N3 (≥ 10 nodes).

Results

According to dedicated axillary hybrid PET/MRI findings, seven patients were diagnosed with N1, four with N2 and one with N3. With regard to mean SUVmax, there was no significant difference in the primary tumor (9.0 [±5.0] vs. 8.6 [±5.7], p = 0.678) or the most FDG-avid axillary lymph node (7.8 [±5.3] vs. 7.7 [±4.3], p = 0.767) between dedicated axillary PET/MRI and PET/CT. Compared to standard imaging modalities, dedicated axillary hybrid PET/MRI resulted in changes in nodal status as follows: 40% compared to US, 75% compared to T2-weighted MRI, 40% compared to contrast-enhanced MRI, and 22% compared to PET/CT.

Conclusions

Adding dedicated axillary 18F-FDG hybrid PET/MRI to diagnostic work-up may improve the diagnostic performance of axillary nodal staging in clinically node-positive breast cancer patients.

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