Diagnostic Accuracy of 99mTc-Sestamibi SPECT/CT for Characterization of Solid Renal Masses

Ashwin Singh Parihar, Joyce Mhlanga, Carrie Ronstrom, Lisa R. Schmidt, Robert S. Figenshau, Farrokh Dehdashti, Richard L. Wahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Our objective was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT for characterizing solid renal masses. Methods: Imaging and clinical records of patients who underwent 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT for clinical work-up of their solid renal masses from September 2018 to October 2021 were retrospectively reviewed. Histopathology formed the reference standard, and the diagnoses were categorized as malignant/concerning (renal cell carcinomas [RCCs] other than chromophobe histology) and benign/nonconcerning (oncocytic tumors including chromophobe RCC, other benign diagnoses) to calculate the sensitivity and specificity of 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT and contrast-enhanced CT (ceCT). The clinical reads of the SPECT/CT images were used for visual classification of the lesions. Additionally, the SPECT images were manually segmented to obtain the maximum and mean counts of the lesion and adjacent renal cortex and maximum and mean lesion Hounsfield units. Results: 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT was performed on 42 patients with 62 renal masses. A histopathologic diagnosis was available for 27 patients (18 male, 9 female) with 36 solid renal masses. ceCT findings were available for 20 of these patients. The most commonly identified single histologic type was clear cell RCC (13/36; 36.1%). Oncocytic tumors were the most common group of nonconcerning lesions (15/36), with oncocytoma as the predominant histologic type (n 5 6). The sensitivity and specificity of SPECT/CT for diagnosing a nonconcerning lesion were 66.7% and 89.5%, respectively, compared with 10% and 75%, respectively, for ceCT. The lesion-to-kidney ratios for maximum and mean counts and maximum lesion Hounsfield units showed significant differences between the 2 groups (P, 0.05). The lesion-to-kidney mean count ratio at a cutoff of 0.46 showed a sensitivity and specificity of 87.5% and 86.67%, respectively, for detecting nonconcerning lesions, which was significantly higher than that of ceCT. Conclusion: The current literature on the utility of 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT for characterization of solid renal masses is limited. We offer additional evidence of the incremental value of 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT over ceCT for differentiating malignant or aggressive renal tumors from benign or indolent ones, thereby potentially avoiding overtreatment and its associated complications. Quantitative assessment can further increase the diagnostic accuracy of SPECT/CT and may be used in conjunction with visual interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


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