Diagnostic Value of PET/CT in Comparison with Other Conventional Imaging Modalities for the Evaluation of Breast Cancer Recurrence: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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Sahel Heydarheydari
Abbas Haghparast


PET/CT, recurrence, breast cancer, diagnostic value, imaging modalities


Background: Despite developments in surgical treatment, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy protocols, tumor recurrence and metastasis are still major problems in breast cancer management. The aim of the present report was to review and compare the performance of PET/CT with some of the conventional imaging modalities in detection of breast cancer recurrence.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed, Europe PMC and ScienceDirect databases with no search restriction for the date of publication but the search was limited to papers published in English.

Results: Twenty-two studies including a total of 1378 patients with prior breast cancer and clinical suspicion of recurrence that assessed the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of PET/CT and other conventional imaging methods in followed up by treated breast cancer and presented the results in systematic review format. The information extracted from each article included the first author, publication year, number of patients and their characteristics, index test(s), sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy.

Conclusions: According to the literature, PET/CT seems to be a more useful modality than current techniques to assess the patients with suspected recurrent and metastatic breast cancer. If PET/CT is not applicable, MRI and also bone scintigraphy could also be performed as alternatives.

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