The Tumor Viability Nuclear Medicine Study demonstrates the presence and location of viable tumor tissue. Tc-99m-Sestamibi tends to localize in metabolically active tumor cells to a greater extent than in normal cells. The exact mechanism of Tc-99m Sestamibi uptake by tumor cells is uncertain. Primary factors include its lipophilicity, which permits passive transport through tumor cell membranes and its active uptake by mitochondria once intracellular. Cells with higher mitochondrial content show greater Tc-99m Sestamibi concentration.


  • Detection and localization of viable tumor of primary breast cancer and axillary metastases.
  • Differentiation of high and low grade tumors.
  • Selection of mammographic abnormalities for biopsy.
  • Evaluation of patients with breast implants which may obscure a lesion.
  • Detection of multi-drug resistance in tumors.

Study Description

The patient will be required to undress to the waist, put on a gown, and remove all jewelry. The patient will receive an injection and wait for 10 minutes. The patient will then lie on the table for images. The number of views required is determined by the location of the suspected abnormality so time required may vary from 40 to 60 minutes.

Examination Time

  • 1 hour

Patient Preparation

Ensure the patient is not pregnant or breastfeeding


Additional Information

Breast Scintimamography Education Brochure