McLaren Health Care
Molecular Breast Imaging

Molecular Breast Imaging

Karmanos is the first hospital in the Midwest to offer the latest molecular breast imaging device - GE Healthcare’s Discovery* NM750b.

This molecular breast imaging technology makes it possible to assess the extent of the disease in patients diagnosed with breast cancer, evaluate tumor response to chemotherapy, and improve early detection of breast cancer in women considered to be at high-risk, especially those with dense breast tissue. Molecular breast imaging is available at Karmanos’ Walt Comprehensive Breast Center in Detroit.

  • PET (positron emission tomography) looks at how the cells in your body process a radioactive tracer material that you have injected.
  • CT (computed tomography) uses x-ray technology to produce detailed images.
  • By combining two scans, a PET-CT shows both your anatomy and how your cells are behaving.
  • The exam may take two hours or more. Actual scanning time is 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Every exam is interpreted by a radiologist.
  • We use the latest technology and the capabilities of our state-of-the-art scanners play a key role in tailoring each exam to your specific needs and reduce radiation exposure.

How it Works?

MBI looks similar to and replicates the views acquired by mammography but it does not produce X-ray radiation.  Instead, MBI uses a nuclear isotope to detect tumors. The patient receives a small injection of a radioactive tracer that locates metabolically active tumors. The device uses leading-edge, solid-state Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) dual detectors that produce outstanding image quality.  The patient can choose to sit or stand while the scanning takes place. Each image view takes up to 10 minutes.  The breast is positioned with mild pressure to immobilize (less than 30 percent of a standard mammography).


In the same way MRI has shown value as an adjunctive tool to mammography, molecular breast imaging captures clear images, even for those with dense breast tissue. For those with dense breast tissue, MBI’s innovative technology can help reduce false positives and complements standard mammography and ultrasound breast imaging as it gives information about the metabolic activity in a breast mass.

It offers an alternative for patients that would benefit from MRI but cannot have an MRI due to:

  • Pacemakers, metal implants/fragments/cardiac stents/orthopedic devices
  • Renal challenges
  • Claustrophobia
  • Allergies to contrast
  • Weight or size exceeding the allowable limit for MRI

It is safe for patients with breast implants.  In addition, molecular breast imaging is cost-effective and can safely and efficiently monitor the patient to track treatment effectiveness and to detect any signs of disease reoccurrence.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment for breast cancer screening services at Karmanos call 800-KARMANOS (800-527-6266) or request an appointment online.