Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Mar;126(3):433-7.

Management of malignant melanoma of the head and neck using dynamic lymphoscintigraphy and gamma probe-guided sentinel lymph node biopsy.

Author information

Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.



The sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is revolutionizing the surgical management of primary malignant melanoma. It allows accurate nodal staging, and targets patients who may benefit from regional lymphadenectomy and systemic therapy; however, its use in the management of head and neck melanoma has not been widely accepted.


A retrospective review of patients treated for clinical stages I and II malignant melanoma of the head and neck with dynamic lymphoscintigraphy and gamma probe-guided SLN biopsy.


Fifty-eight patients (47 male and 11 female) were identified. Primary melanoma sites included the scalp (21), ear (8), face (13), neck (15), and eyelid (1). Primary tumor staging was T2 (11), T3 (24), and T4 (23). Dynamic lymphoscintigraphy visualized SLNs in 57 patients (98.3%). In 43 cases (75%) a single draining nodal basin was identified, and in 14 cases there were multiple draining nodal basins. Sentinel lymph nodes were successfully identified in 72 (96%) of 75 nodal basins. Positive SLNs were identified in 10 patients (17.5%). Sentinal lymph node positivity by tumor staging was T3, 16.7% and T4, 27.3%. Completion lymphadenectomy revealed residual disease in 3 patients (30%). Relapse occurred in 10 (21.3%) of the 47 patients with negative SLN biopsy results and 7 (70%) of those with positive results.


Gamma probe-guided SLN localization in the head and neck region was successful in 96% of draining nodal basins. It can target regional lymphadenectomy in patients who may benefit from regional nodal dissection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center