Multicentric study on 18F-FDG-PET/CT breast incidental uptake in patients studied for non-breast malignant purposes

Francesco Bertagna, Laura Evangelista, Arnoldo Piccardo, Mattia Bertoli, Giovanni Bosio, Raffaele Giubbini, Emanuela Orlando, Giorgio Treglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Our study has aimed to establish the prevalence and pathological nature of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) breast incidental uptake (BIU) in patients studied for non-malignant breast tumours and then to compare our data obtained in three Italian nuclear medicine centres with those available in literature. Material and methods: We retrospectively evaluated 42,927 18F-FDG-PET/CT scans performed on patients studied in three Italian Nuclear Medicine Centres. All patients underwent 18F-FDG-PET/CT for oncologic purposes not related to breast disease. Results: Among 42,927 scans, a BIU was identified in 79 (0.18%) patients, 75 (95%) female and 4 (5%) male with an average age of 62. ±. 17 years. Twenty-five out of 35 (71.5%) BIUs were malignant and 10/35 (28.5%) benign. Among the 25/35 incidentalomas that were malignant, 12/25 (48%) were infiltrating ductal carcinoma, 5/25 (20%) ductal carcinoma (infiltrating and in situ), 4/25 (16%) lobular carcinoma, 2/25 (8%) ductal carcinoma in situ and 2/25 (8%) were metastases from the primary tumour under investigation. Of the 10 BIUs that were benign in the histological examination, after further investigations it was found that 9/10 (90%) were fibroadenomas and 1/10 (10%) was a benign lesion not better specified. The lesion to liver or to blood-pool SUVmax ratio in malignant lesions is significantly higher than in benign ones. Conclusions: Our multicenter study demonstrates that, although they are uncommon, BIUs show a high percentage of malignancy and therefore requires further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Espanola de Medicina Nuclear e Imagen Molecular
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • F-FDG
  • Breast
  • Incidentaloma
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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