Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Surg Oncol. 2001 Aug;77(4):243-6.

Accuracy of sentinel node biopsy in predicting nodal status in patients with breast carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Division of Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.



While sentinel lymph node biopsy is considered by many to have replaced axillary node dissection in the management of breast cancer, concerns remain regarding false-negative results.


To investigate the accuracy of sentinel node biopsy, we reexamined all sentinel and nonsentinel nodes with multilevel sectioning and immunohistochemical staining in 42 consecutive cases of breast cancer in which sentinel node biopsy was performed and followed by axillary dissection.


By routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, 34% of patients were found to be node positive, with no cases of false-negative sentinel node biopsy. Reevaluation of 775 negative sentinel and nonsentinel nodes with an additional two levels and immunohistochemistry identified three "node-negative" patients who had micrometastases in the sentinel node, increasing detection in 8% of cases. More important, is the fact however, that there were no cases where additional sections and immunohistochemistry identified metastases in nonsentinel nodes that had bypassed the sentinel node. The accuracy of the sentinel node in predicting the nodal status was 100%.


Cytokeratin immunohistochemistry will identify more patients with nodal micrometastases; however, it was unable to identify any cases where micrometastases were present in nonsentinel nodes when the sentinel node was negative. The status of the sentinel node accurately identifies the status of the axillary basin.

Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk