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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 1999 Dec;29(12):604-7.

Sentinel node biopsy guided by indocyanine green dye in breast cancer patients.

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Department of Surgery, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Japan.



We aimed to evaluate whether dye-guided sentinel node biopsy is a useful indicator of axillary node involvement in breast cancer patients and whether clinicopathological features affect its success in identifying sentinel nodes.


Sentinel node biopsy was performed in patients with stage I or II breast cancer using an indocyanin green dye-guided method.


We could identify sentinel nodes in 127 (73.8%) of 172 patients. The mean number of sentinel nodes per patient was 1.7 (range, 1-8) and the mean node size was 9.3 mm (range, 3.0-28.0 mm). Of the 127 patients, 40 (31.5%) also had axillary node involvement. In 16 (40.0%) of these, the sentinel node was the only node involved. There was concordance between sentinel node and axillary node status in 122 (96.1%) of the 127 patients. Success in identifying sentinel nodes was not affected by tumor size, operative procedure, histological type of tumor or tumor location; however, the success rate was significantly lower in patients with axillary node involvement (65.7 vs 79.0% in axillary node-negative patients, p = 0.039) and the presence or absence of lymphatic or vascular invasion in the tumor (63.8 vs 78.9% in patients without lymphatic or vascular invasion, p = 0.043). Sentinel nodes could also be identified significantly more frequently in patients under 50 years old (83.3%) than in those over 50 years old (64.8%, p = 0.009).


Sentinel node biopsy guided by indocyanin green dye is an easy technique with an acceptable success rate in detecting sentinel nodes and predicting axillary nodal status. Axillary node status, the presence or absence of lymphatic or vascular invasion in the tumor and patient age affect its success in identifying sentinel nodes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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