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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Lymph node imaging
  • Hybrid PET/MRI
  • Axilla
  • EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY/COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY
  • FDG PET/CT
  • PRACTICE GUIDELINES
  • LESION DETECTION
  • PRIMARY TUMOR
  • MRI
  • METASTASES
  • VISUALIZATION
  • ULTRASOUND
  • ONCOLOGY

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