The first study concluded that breast radiologists can achieve a high level of diagnostic performance in interpreting PEM images after a 2-hour tutorial which can take months to achieve with MRI.

The second study established a standard lexicon for the evaluation of PEM images making it simple to share a diagnosis.

Thirty-six observers from 15 sites throughout the US completed both PEM and MRI interpretive skills tasks.

All participants underwent a 2-hour training program for interpreting PEM images.

The median sensitivity and specificity for PEM assessment tasks were 100% and 83% respectively, compared to the median sensitively and specificity of MRI at 82% and 69% respectively.

The results indicate that, with minimal training, experienced breast imagers showed high performance in interpreting PEM images.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Breast Imaging Research and Education director and a participant in the study Priscilla Slanetz said assessing for areas of focal uptake typically is straightforward and takes just 1-3 minutes at most.

"In comparison, interpreting breast MR can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes, depending upon the complexity of the case and the number of sequences acquired," Slanetz said.