Gökhan Pösteki, Alican Güreşin, Sertaç Ata Güler , Turgay Şimşek, Nuh Zafer Cantürk

Department of General Surgery, Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli, Türkiye


Objective: The involvement of axillary lymph nodes plays a key role in breast cancer staging. Positron emission tomography is a promising modality for detecting axillary lymph node metastasis. In addition, nomograms are used to predict the status of axillary lymph nodes. In this study, the role of positron emission tomography in determining axillary metastasis and its correlation with the nomogram was evaluated.

Material and Methods: The axillary maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) values of the patients in the preoperative period, the features in the perioperative and postoperative specimen and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center nomogram data were evaluated.

Results: As axillary SUVmax detected by Positron emission tomography in the preoperative period increased, so did the likelihood of lymph node involvement. Axillary SUVmax value were compared with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center nomogram data but no correlation was found. Age, lymph node number, histopathology results, mass diameter, presence or absence of lymphovascular invasion and/or perineural invasion, tumor type, estrogen receptor status, Ki67 and Cerb-B2 statuses were not correlated. However, axillary SUVmax was inversely correlated with grade and progesterone receptor status.

Conclusion: Results from positron emission tomography of axillary lymph nodes in breasts cancer patients showed that SUVmax was only inversely related to cancer grade and progesterone receptor status while not correlating with other accepted parameters for tumor assessment. Thus there is insufficient reliability for the use of axillary SUVmax alone for accurate assessment of tumor characteristics at present.

Keywords: Axillary metastasis, breast cancer, positron emission tomography

Cite this article as: Pösteki G, Güreşin A, Güler SA, Şimşek T, Cantürk NZ. Utility of positron emission tomography for determination of axillary metastasis of breast cancer. Turk J Surg 2023; 39 (4): 293-299.


Ethics Committee Approval

This study was approved by the Kocaeli University Noninvasive Clinical Research Ethics Committee (Decision no: GOKAEK 2016, Date: 30.11.2016).

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept - GP, AG; Design - GP; Supervision - NZC; Data Collection and/or Processing - GP, SAG; Analysis and/or Interpretation - GP, SAG; Literature Search - GP, AG; Writing Manuscript - GP; Critical Reviews - TŞ, NZC.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.