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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007;86(5):615-9.

Sentinel node and vulvar cancer: a series of 47 patients.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, Tampere, 33521, Finland.



There is growing interest to apply the sentinel node technique in the treatment of vulvar cancer.


All charts of the patients operated on for vulvar cancer at Tampere University Hospital from January 1, 2001 through June 30, 2005 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic, clinical, and histopathological information was collected from each patient. The sentinel lymph node mapping was done intraoperatively either with a combination of the radioisotope and dye techniques (40 patients) or with the dye technique alone (7 patients). The sentinel lymph node was dissected separately for histopathological evaluation, and then a routine inguinal lymphadenectomy was performed.


The final FIGO surgical Stage distribution was: Stage I, 11 (23%); Stage II, 14 (30%); Stage III, 21 (45%); and Stage IV, 1 (2%). Sentinel lymph node was identified in 46 (98%) women with either one or both of the methods. In Stage I-II, the sentinel lymph node identification rate was 25/25 (100%) with the combined method. The only patient with unidentified sentinel lymph node had lymphatic spread beyond inguinal area or Stage IV disease. Eighteen of the sentinel lymph nodes (39%) were positive for tumor cells, and in 5 cases additional metastatic nodes were found. One patient with macroscopically enlarged metastatic inguinal nodes and Stage III disease had a negative sentinel lymph node. In the 25 patients with Stage I-II disease, the false-negative rate of the sentinel lymph node method was 0/4, giving a negative predictive value of 1.00.


A sentinel node identification rate of 98% with a false-negative rate of 0% in the patients with Stage I-II disease is an encouraging finding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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