Molecular breast imaging: Administered activity does not require adjustment based on patient size

Thuy D. Tran, Lacey R. Ellingson, Tiffinee N. Swanson, Courtney M. Solberg, Michael K. O'Connor, Carrie B. Hruska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


At our institution, molecular breast imaging (MBI) is performed with 300 MBq of 99m-sestamibi for all patients. For some nuclear medicine procedures, administered activity or imaging time is increased for patients of larger size to obtain adequate counts. Our objective was to assess whether uptake of 99msestamibi in the breast is influenced by patient size. Methods: Records from patients who underwent a clinical MBI examination between July and November 2016 were reviewed. Those in whom our standard injection and preparation techniques were followed were included in the analysis. Patients were injected with approximately 300 MBq of 99m-sestamibi. Residual activity was measured to allow calculation of exact administered activity for each patient. Breast images were acquired at 10 min/view using a dual-head cadmium zinc telluride-based γ-camera. Breast thickness was measured as the distance between the 2 detectors. Patient height, weight, body surface area, and body mass index were obtained from records. Lean body mass with the James equation (LBMJames) and Janmahasatian correction (LBMJanma) was calculated. Count density in the breast tissue was measured by drawing a region of interest around the central breast tissue of the right breast mediolateral-oblique view of the lower detector. Count density was expressed as cts/cm2/MBq of administered activity. Spearman correlation coefficient (rs) was calculated. Results: A total of 200 patients were analyzed. No dose infiltration was suspected at any injection. Average administered activity was 292 MBq (SD, 13.8 MBq; range, 247-326 MBq). Average count density was 7.2 cts/cm2/MBq (SD, 2.7 cts/cm2/MBq; range, 3.1-17.8 cts/cm2/MBq). MBI count density was weakly negatively correlated with height (rs= -0.18; P=0.01), weight (rs= -0.23; p=,0.001), body mass index (rs= -0.16; P=0.02), body surface area (rs= -0.22; P=0.002), LBMJames (rs=-0.23; P=0.001), and LBMJanma (rs=-0.23; P=0.001). No correlation was observed between count density and breast thickness (rs=0.06; P=0.37). Conclusion: Our results suggest a lack of relationship between uptake of 99m-sestamibi in breast tissue and body size or compressed breast thickness. Altering from the standard 300 MBq of administered activity for larger patients is likely unnecessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-267
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Body mass index
  • Breast
  • Breast
  • Breast count density
  • Dose regimen
  • Molecular breast imaging Tcsestamibi
  • Molecular imaging
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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