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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Jun 1;65(2):333-9. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Persistent seroma after intraoperative placement of MammoSite for accelerated partial breast irradiation: incidence, pathologic anatomy, and contributing factors.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA.



To investigate the incidence of, and possible factors associated with, seroma formation after intraoperative placement of the MammoSite catheter for accelerated partial breast irradiation.


This study evaluated 38 patients who had undergone intraoperative MammoSite catheter placement at lumpectomy or reexcision followed by accelerated partial breast irradiation with 34 Gy in 10 fractions. Data were collected regarding dosimetric parameters, including the volume of tissue enclosed by the 100%, 150%, and 200% isodose shells, dose homogeneity index, and maximal dose at the surface of the applicator. Clinical and treatment-related factors were analyzed, including patient age, patient weight, history of diabetes and smoking, use of reexcision, interval between surgery and radiotherapy, total duration of catheter placement, total excised specimen volume, and presence or absence of postprocedural infection. Seroma was verified by clinical examination, mammography, and/or ultrasonography. Persistent seroma was defined as seroma that was clinically detectable >6 months after radiotherapy completion.


After a median follow-up of 17 months, the overall rate of any detectable seroma was 76.3%. Persistent seroma (>6 months) occurred in 26 (68.4%) of 38 patients, of whom 46% experienced at least modest discomfort at some point during follow-up. Of these symptomatic patients, 3 required biopsy or complete cavity excision, revealing squamous metaplasia, foreign body giant cell reaction, fibroblasts, and active collagen deposition. Of the analyzed dosimetric, clinical, and treatment-related variables, only body weight correlated positively with the risk of seroma formation (p = 0.04). Postprocedural infection correlated significantly (p = 0.05) with a reduced risk of seroma formation. Seroma was associated with a suboptimal cosmetic outcome, because excellent scores were achieved in 61.5% of women with seroma compared with 83% without seroma.


Intraoperative placement of the MammoSite catheter for accelerated partial breast irradiation is associated with a high rate of clinically detectable seroma that adversely affects the cosmetic outcome. The seroma risk was positively associated with body weight and negatively associated with postprocedural infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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