Retrospective study of 18F-FDG PET/CT in the diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer: Preliminary data

Selin Carkaci, Homer A. Macapinlac, Massimo Cristofanilli, Osama Mawlawi, Eric Rohren, Ana M. Gonzalez Angulo, Shaheenah Dawood, Erika Resetkova, Huong T. Le-Petross, Wei Tse Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Our objective was to retrospectively evaluate 18F-FDG PET/CT in the initial staging of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Methods: The institutional review board waived informed consent and approved this study, which was compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The cases of 41 women with a mean age of 50 y (range, 25-71 y) and newly diagnosed IBC who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT at diagnosis were retrospectively reviewed. All PET/CT images were analyzed visually and semiquantitatively by 2 physicians. The maximum standardized uptake value in the primary breast, regional nodes (axillary, subpectoral, supraclavicular, internal mammary), and extranodal regions was documented. The accuracy of PET/CT image interpretation was assessed by histopathologic analysis, if available; concurrent or subsequent imaging findings (contrast-enhanced CT, contrast-enhanced MRI, sonography, or PET/CT follow-up); or clinical follow-up. Results: All patients presented with unilateral IBC. PET/CT showed hypermetabolic uptake in the skin in all patients, in the affected breast in 40 (98%), in the ipsilateral axillary nodes in 37 (90%), and in the ipsilateral subpectoral nodes in 18 (44%). Twenty patients (49%) were found to have distant metastases at staging, 7 (17%) of whom were not known to have metastases before undergoing PET/CT. Disease sites included bone, liver, contralateral axilla, lung, chest wall, pelvis, and the subpectoral, supraclavicular, internal mammary, mediastinal, and abdominal nodes. Conclusion: PET/CT should be considered in the initial staging of IBC, as the technique provided valuable information on locoregional and distant disease in this preliminary retrospective study. COPYRIGHT

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


  • Breast neoplasm
  • CT regional adenopathy
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Mammography
  • Sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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