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Comparison of whole-body FDG-PET and bone scintigraphy in the evaluation of skeletal metastases in patients with breast cancer.


Eduardo Erasto S. Ongkeko,
Gerard L. Goco,
Jonas Francisco Y. Santiago

Related Institution

Department of Nuclear Medicine - St. Luke's Medical Center

Publication Information

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Clinical trials/Clinical investigations (RCT's)
The Philippine Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Publication Date
July-December 2016


An established standard imaging modality for detecting bone metastases in patients with breast cancer is through the use of 99mTc-hydroxymethylene diphosphonate (99mTc-IIDP) bone scintigraphy. It is clearly documented that sensitivity is generally high while specificity is often lower because of tracer uptake in non-malignant processes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic performance of whole body 2-deoxy-2-[18F]-D- glucose positron emission tomography (18 F-FDG PET) and bone scintigraphy in the detection of bone metastasis in patients with breast cancer.
METHODS: There were 232 consecutive patients who underwent FDG PET for breast cancer staging/restaging at our center during the study period. We included those who only had a bone scintigraphy within a month before or after the PET scan. The results of each image interpretation were compared retrospectively by an experienced nuclear medicine physician. Per-patient and per-lesion detection rates were collected. Bone metastasis slams was established on the basis of multimodality imaging and/or clinical follow-up for at least 6 months Weighted kappa was also calculated to determine agreement between the two modalities.
RESULTS: Forty-seven patients were included in the study with ages ranging from 28-86 years. For the patient-based data, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 90%, 92.6%, 90%, 92.6%, and 91.5%, respectively, for FDG PET, and 95%, 44.4%, 55.9%, 92.3% and 66%, respectively,for bone scintigraphy. For the lesion-based data, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 66.4%, 90%, 94.7%, 50%, and 72.8%, respectively, for FDG PET, and 74.5%, 27%, 752%, 26.3% and 62.6%, respectively, for bone scintigraphy Agreement between the two modalities was slight.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, FDG PET shows to be as sensitive as bone scintigraphy in picking up bone metastases Furthermore, on both per patient and per lesion bases; PET was shown to be more confirmatory and more accurate with evidence of statistical significance. FDG PET and bone scintigraphy should play complementary roles in the detection of skeletal metastases.

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