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Am J Surg. 2003 Oct;186(4):368-70.

Axillary lymph node metastases in patients with a final diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ.

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  • 1Cleveland Clinic Breast Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Department of General Surgery, A-80, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



Recent studies report the incidence of axillary metastases in patients with ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS) approaches 13%. The purpose of this study was to define the incidence of axillary micrometastases in patients with pure DCIS before and after the introduction of sentinel lymph node biopsy.


Patients with a final diagnosis of DCIS form the basis of this study. Data were entered prospectively into an Institutional Review Board approved Oracle database from January 1997 through July 2002.


One hundred and thirty-four patients had lymph nodes evaluated. Ninety-eight percent of patients had no evidence of metastatic disease and 2% were found to have micrometastases. This was consistent in those who had level I or II lymph node sampling or both and those who had lymphatic mapping and a sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure.


These data do not support axillary lymph node removal of any type in patients with pure DCIS.

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