Molecular breast imaging at reduced radiation dose for supplemental screening in mammographically dense breasts

Deborah J. Rhodes, Carrie B. Hruska, Amy Lynn Conners, Cindy L. Tortorelli, Robert W. Maxwell, Katie N. Jones, Alicia Y. Toledano, Michael K. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic performance of supplemental screening molecular breast imaging (MBI) in women with mammographically dense breasts after system modifications to permit radiation dose reduction. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. A total of 1651 asymptomatic women with mammographically dense breasts on prior mammography underwent screening mammography and adjunct MM performed with 300-MBq 99mTc-sestamibi and a direct-conversion (cadmium zinc telluride) gamma camera, both interpreted independently, The cancer detection rate, sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of biopsies performed (PPV3) were determined. RESULTS. In 1585 participants with a complete reference standard, 21 were diagnosed with cancer: two detected by mammography only, 14 by MBI only, three by both modalities, and two by neither. Of 14 participants with cancers detected only by MBI, 11 had invasive disease (median size, 0.9 cm; range, 0.5-4.1 cm). Nine of 11 (82%) were node negative, and two had bilateral cancers. With the addition of MBI to mammography, the overall cancer detection rate (per 1000 screened) increased from 3.2 to 12.0 (p < 0.001) (supplemental yield 8.8). The invasive cancer detection rate increased from 1.9 to 8.8 (p < 0.001) (supplemental yield 6.9), a relative increase of 363%, while the change in DCIS detection was not statistically significant (from 1.3 to 3.2, p =0.250). For mammography alone, sensitivity was 24%; specificity, 89%; and PPV3, 25%. For the combination, sensitivity was 91% (p < 0.001); specificity, 83% (p < 0.001); and PPV3, 28% (p < = 0.70). The recall rate increased from 11.0% with mammography alone to 17.6% (p < 0.001) for the combination; the biopsy rate increased from 1.3% for mammography alone to 4.2% (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION. When added lo screening mammography. MBI performed using a radiopharmaceutical activity acceptable for screening (effective dose 2.4 mSv) yielded a supple-menial cancer detection rate of 8.8 per 1000 women with mammographically dense breasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Breast cancer
  • Mammographic density
  • Molecular breast imaging
  • Supplemental screening
  • Tc-sestamibi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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