Lymphoscintigraphic Mapping-Tumor Size No Problem

Biopsy of Sentinel Lymph Nodes Guided by Lymphoscintigraphic Mapping in Patients with Breast Cancer

Linda L. Tuthill1, Handel E. Reynolds1 and Robert J. Goulet, Jr.2 1 Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University Hospital, 550 N. University Blvd., Rm. 0279, Indianapolis, IN 46202. 2 Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to determine the technical success rate of sentinel node biopsy with lymphoscintigraphy in women with breast cancer and the frequency with which sentinel node biopsy obviated axillary dissection. Factors affecting the success rate of sentinel node biopsy and lymphoscintigraphy were also evaluated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS. Retrospective review revealed 119 women with breast cancer who underwent lymphoscintigraphy and sentinel node biopsy at our institution during the study period. A planned axillary dissection was performed in 13 of the first 16 patients; otherwise, axillary dissection was only performed if tumor was present in sentinel nodes or if the sentinel node biopsy was unsuccessful.

RESULTS. Sentinel node biopsy was successful in 96% of patients, and sentinel node metastases were found in 20%. In 78% of patients, a negative sentinel node biopsy obviated axillary dissection. Prior excisional biopsy was not associated with a failed sentinel node biopsy (p = 0.750) but was associated with failed lymphoscintigraphy (p = 0.01). Successful lymphoscintigraphy was associated with successful sentinel node biopsy (p < 0.0001).

No association was found between the histology or size of the tumor and a failed sentinel node biopsy (p = 0.46 and p = 0.1, respectively) or failed lymphoscintigraphy (p = 0.36 and p = 0.47, respectively).

CONCLUSION. Sentinel node biopsy guided by lymphoscintigraphy, intraoperative gamma probe, and isosulfan blue dye is an effective alternative to axillary dissection in patients with breast cancer.

Lymphoscintigraphy improved the success rate of sentinel node biopsy. LARGE TUMOR SIZE or PRIOR excisional biopsy should not prevent patients from having sentinel node biopsy. (EMPHASIS ADDED)

AJR 2001; 176:407-411

Subareolar Injection Simplifies Mapping  Procedure

Society for Surgical Oncology March 2001

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