Breast-specific gamma imaging for the detection of breast cancer in dense versus nondense breasts

Lauren R. Rechtman, Megan J. Lenihan, Jennifer H. Lieberman, Christine B. Teal, Jessica Torrente, Jocelyn A. Rapelyea, Rachel F. Brem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) for the detection of breast cancer in dense versus nondense breasts. MATERIALS AND METHODS. This was a retrospective study of 341 women with biopsy-proven breast cancer diagnosed from January 2004 to August 2009 who underwent BSGI before surgical excision. Patients with predominantly fatty replaced (BI-RADS density 1) or scattered fibroglandular tissue (BI-RADS density 2) breasts were classified as nondense, and those with heterogeneously dense (BI-RADS density 3) or extremely dense tissue (BIRADS density 4) were classified as dense. BSGI examinations exhibiting focal increased radiotracer uptake in the area of biopsy-proven cancer were classified as positive according to BSGI reports in the medical record. The sensitivity of BSGI was calculated using Microsoft Excel 2003. Between-group differences were evaluated statistically using the Student t test for continuous variables and the chi-square test for categoric variables, with p < 0.05 considered statistically significant. RESULTS. The overall sensitivity of BSGI for breast cancer detection was 95.4%. Positive BSGI examinations were present in 136 of 142 nondense breast cancers and 195 of 205 dense breast cancers, for sensitivities of 95.8% and 95.1%, respectively. There was no significant difference in BSGI breast cancer detection and parenchymal breast density ( p = 0.459). CONCLUSION. BSGI has high sensitivities for the detection of breast cancer in women with dense and nondense breasts and is an effective adjunct imaging modality in women with both dense and nondense breasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-298
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Breast density
  • Breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI)
  • Molecular breast imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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