Updated on 11 July 2012
Singapore: According to a new study presented at the 2012 American Society of Breast Surgeons, Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI), also known as BSGI, is equivalent to MRI in detecting breast cancer. Although both MBI/BSGI and MRI are capable of detecting cancers missed by mammography and ultrasound, the MBI/BSGI procedure can be conducted for about 1/3 the cost of an MRI examination.
In this study of 276 patients at George Washington University Hospital, the MBI/BSGI procedure was conducted with the Dilon 6800 Gamma Camera. The number of patients who underwent a MBI/BSGI procedure was twice those of MRI and the authors concluded that there was no statistically significant difference between the sensitivity or specificity of the two modalities. Dr Christine Teal from the Department of Surgery at George Washington University Hospital who is one of the authors said, "MBI/BSGI continuously proves to be a very important diagnostic tool in our facility by providing outstanding results in detecting additional cancers. MBI clearly indicated a change in patient management for a greater number of patients than did MRI."
MRI cannot be performed on patients with metal or electronic implants, or those with claustrophobia. In addition, MRI utilizes a contrast agent that has been reported to cause adverse reactions in a very small number of patients, especially those with insufficient kidney function. Such patients have no difficulty having a MBI/BSGI exam.