Breast cancer with low FDG uptake: Characterization by means of dual-time point FDG-PET/CT

Ashraf Anas Zytoon, Koji Murakami, Mohamed Ramdan El-Kholy, Emad El-Shorbagy, Osama Ebied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Malignant breast lesions usually are differentiated by FDG-PET with a semiquantitative FDG standardized uptake value (SUV) of 2.5. However, the frequency of breast cancer with an SUV of less than or equal to 2.5 is noteworthy, and often present diagnostic challenges. This study was undertaken to evaluate the accuracy of dual-time point FDG-PET/CT with FDG standardized uptake value (SUV) calculation in the characterization of such breast tumors. Methods: Forty-nine female patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer were found to have primary breast cancer with minimally increased FDG uptake and met the criteria for inclusion in this study by having borderline levels of increased FDG uptake (SUVmax less than or equal to 2.5) in the initial FDG-PET/CT images. Consequently, they underwent further delayed phase FDG-PET/CT scan for better evaluation of the disease. Results: Of the 49 cancer lesions; the majority were found to have rising or unvarying dual-time changes in SUVmax (75.5%). The median value of SUVmax increases by 25% between the early and delayed scan. The means ± S.D. of the SUVmax1, the SUVmax2, and the ΔSUVmax% were 1.2 ± 0.6%, 1.3 ± 0.9%, and 5.1 ± 22.4%, respectively. The receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) analysis proved that the highest accuracy for characterization of malignant breast lesions was obtained when a ΔSUVmax% cut-off value 0.0% was used as criteria for malignant FDG uptake-change over time with sensitivity 75.5%, and false-positive rate 20.4%. Conclusion: These results suggested that dual-time FDG-PET/CT imaging with standardized uptake value (SUV) estimation can improve the accuracy of the test in the evaluation of breast cancer with low FDG uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-538
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Delayed imaging
  • Dual-time point imaging
  • Standardized uptake value (SUV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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