NEWPORT NEWS, Va., May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The possibility
of low-dose Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) looks promising
according to the most recent clinical evidence revealed this past
month at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Marcela
Bohm-Velez and her colleagues from Associates in Pittsburgh, Pa.,
shared preliminary results from a prospective study on low-dose
MBI, specifically Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI), at the SNM
Breast Cancer Imaging: State of the Art 2011. Their results suggest
it may be possible to reduce the radiation dose patients receive
from a BSGI procedure by up to 60 percent.
The tracer used in this procedure, Technetium Tc99m Sestamibi
(MIBI), has commonly been used in cardiac studies for years and was
cleared by the FDA in the mid-1990s for diagnostic breast imaging.
The recommended dose (20 – 30 mCi) was established using an
older, larger, less sensitive whole body imaging system.
Newer breast-optimized imaging systems have an inherently
higher photon sensitivity that may allow a lesser dose to be
At the Weinstein Imaging Center, BSGI has become a valuable
diagnostic tool, especially for patients with dense breast tissue
that limits the effectiveness of mammography. “In order to optimize
care and use BSGI to screen specific populations, we wanted to
examine the possibility of using a lesser dose,” said Bohm-Velez.
“The present challenge for the clinician is that the use of lower
doses is currently an off-label use of the pharmaceutical.”
Their study compared breast tissue uptake at low-dose levels of
5, 10 and 15 mCi to those obtained with the conventional 20 mCi
(740 MBq) injections. According to Bohm-Velez, “Although these are
early results, we were quite surprised to see that we can reduce
the dose to 15 mCi without any substantial impact on breast tissue
uptake or image quality. In addition, a 10 mCi image still provided
a very good, clinically viable image. The good news is