High-resolution gamma-camera for molecular breast imaging: First clinical results

Orazio Schillaci, Elsa Cossu, Pasquale Romano, Chiara Sansò, Roberta Danieli, Alessandra V. Granai, Gina Caravaglia, Chiara A. Pistolese, Oreste Buonomo, Giovanni Simonetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scintimammography is a molecular breast imaging technique using tumour-seeking radiopharmaceuticals; with standard gamma-cameras, it proved of value especially when mammography is indeterminate and in women with dense breasts; nevertheless, this technique shows a high sensitivity only for cancers > 1 cm. The issue of detecting small cancers is critical for the future development and clinical usefulness of breast imaging with radiopharmaceuticals, because other modalities are increasingly employed for early identification of small abnormalities. The use of high-resolution dedicated cameras for breast imaging is the best option to improve small cancers' detection: they allow greater flexibility in patient positioning, and the availability of projections similar to those of mammography. Moreover, the detector can be placed directly against the breast, and a mild compression is possible, with the results of reducing breast thickness, increasing the target-to-background ratio and the sensitivity. Our first clinical findings using the dedicated camera Lumagem 3200S (Gamma Medica, Inc., Northridge, USA) are very satisfactory. Till now, 29 patients with BI-RADS category III and IV lesions ≤ 1cm were prospectively evaluated using a conventional gamma-camera and the dedicated device. Four out nine (44%) of the malignant lesions were detected with the standard gamma-camera, whereas the high-resolution camera visualized all the breast cancers. The standard gamma-camera and the dedicated one showed the same specificity: 19 out of 20 (95%) benign lesions were negative. Our results indicate that molecular breast imaging with this dedicated camera is able to detect small cancers in patients with probably benign or low-suspicion to indeterminate mammographic findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-124
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Breast cancer
  • High-resolution camera
  • Scintimammograpy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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