Staging performance of whole-body DWI, PET/CT and PET/MRI in invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast

Onofrio Antonio Catalano, Dania Daye, Alberto Signore, Carlo Iannace, Mark Vangel, Angelo Luongo, Marco Catalano, Mazzeo Filomena, Luigi Mansi, Andrea Soricelli, Marco Salvatore, Niccolo Fuin, Ciprian Catana, Umar Mahmood, Bruce Robert Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of whole-body diffusion-weighted imaging (WB-DWI), whole-body positron emission tomography with computed tomography (WB-PET/CT), and whole-body positron emission tomography with magnetic resonance imaging (WB-PET/MRI) in staging patients with untreated invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast. Fifty-one women with newly diagnosed invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast underwent WB-DWI, WB-PET/CT and WB-PET/MRI before treatment. A radiologist and a nuclear medicine physician reviewed in consensus the images from the three modalities and searched for occurrence, number and location of metastases. Final staging, according to each technique, was compared. Pathology and imaging follow-up were used as the reference. WB-DWI, WB-PET/CT and WB-PET/MRI correctly and concordantly staged 33/51 patients: stage IIA in 7 patients, stage IIB in 8 patients, stage IIIC in 4 patients and stage IV in 14 patients. WB-DWI, WB-PET/CT and WB-PET/MRI incorrectly and concordantly staged 1/51 patient as stage IV instead of IIIA. Discordant staging was reported in 17/51 patients. WB-PET/MRI resulted in improved staging when compared to WB-PET/CT (50 correctly staged on WB-PET/MRI vs. 38 correctly staged on WB-PET/CT; McNemar's test; p<0.01). Comparing the performance of WB-PET/MRI and WB-DWI (43 correct) did not reveal a statistically significant difference (McNemar test, p=0.14). WB-PET/MRI is more accurate in the initial staging of breast cancer than WB-DWI and WB-PET/CT, however, the discrepancies between WB-PET/MRI and WB-DWI were not statistically significant. When available, WB-PET/MRI should be considered for staging patient with invasive ductal breast carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-288
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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