Diagnostic performance of PET/computed tomography versus PET/MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging in the N- and M-staging of breast cancer patients

Cornelis Maarten de Mooij*, Ines Sunen, Cristina Mitea, Ulrich C. Lalji, Sigrid Vanwetswinkel, Marjolein L. Smidt, Thiemo J. A. van Nijnatten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Objective To provide a systematic review regarding the diagnostic performance of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) compared to 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography (CT) focused on nodal and distant staging in breast cancer patients. Methods ThePubMedandEmbasedatabases were searched for relevant publications until April 2020. Two independent reviewers searched for eligible articles based on predefined in- and exclusion criteria, assessed quality and extracted data. Results Eleven eligible studies were selected from 561 publications identified by the search. In seven studies, PET/CT was compared with PET/MRI, and in five, PET/CT with DWI. Significantly higher sensitivity for PET/MRI compared to PET/CT in a lesion-based analysis was reported for all lesions together (77% versus 89%) in one study, osseous metastases (69-99% versus 92-98%) in two studies and hepatic metastases (70-75% versus 80-100%) in one study. Moreover, PET/MRI revealed a significantly higher amount of osseous metastases (90 versus 141) than PET/CT. PET/CT is associated with a statistically higher specificity than PET/MRI in the lesion detection of all lesions together (98% versus 96%) and of osseous metastases (100% versus 95%), both in one study. None of the reviewed studies reported significant differences between PET/CT and DWI for any of the evaluated sites. There is a trend toward higher specificity for PET/CT. Conclusion In general, there is a trend toward higher sensitivity and lower specificity of PET/MRI when compared to PET/CT. Results on the diagnostic performance of DWI are conflicting. Rather than evaluating it separate, it seems to have complementary value when combined with other MR sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1004
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • breast cancer
  • diffusion-weighted imaging
  • distant staging
  • nodal staging
  • PET
  • computed tomography
  • positron emission tomography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • F-18-FDG PET/MRI
  • BODY
  • MRI
  • TIME
  • SCAN


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