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Surgery. 1999 Oct;126(4):714-20; discussion 720-2.

Learning sentinel node biopsy: results of a prospective randomized trial of two techniques.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, and the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence indicates that sentinel node (SN) biopsy can accurately predict axillary nodal status. Debate exists as to the optimal method of SN identification.

METHODS:

Patients with clinical T1 or T2 tumors and negative axillae were randomized to SN localization with blue dye (B) alone (n = 50) or blue dye plus radioactivity (B+R) (n = 42). Patients undergoing needle localization (n = 47) were assigned to blue dye.

RESULTS:

The SN was identified in 110 patients (79%) and contained metastases in 28. The SN predicted the axillary nodal status in 96% of cases. The SN identification rate did not differ between B (88%) or B+R (86%) but was significantly lower in patients requiring localization (64%). The time to SN identification also did not differ between B and B+R. The number of cases done by an individual surgeon was a significant predictor of SN identification. A stepwise logistic regression analysis of factors influencing the success of SN identification identified tumor location, needle localization, number of operations, and body mass index as significant predictors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study does not identify any advantage for the use of the more expensive and complex method of SN identification using B+R compared with B alone, even for surgeons learning the techniques.

PMID:
10520920
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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