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Int J Surg Pathol. 2007 Oct;15(4):358-68.

Anatomopathological analysis of sentinel and nonsentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer: hematoxylin-eosin versus immunohistochemistry.

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Laboratório de Anatomia Patológica do Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima, Rodovia Comandante João Ribeiro de Barros Km. 225/226, 17034-971 Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil.


The authors compare the detection of metastases in sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) and nonsentinel lymph nodes (NSLNs) using hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining versus immunohistochemistry (IHC). Thirty-six patients with breast carcinoma undergo exeresis of the primary tumor and of 50 SLNs and 491 NSLNs. Sentinel lymph nodes are sectioned into transverse slices of 2- to 3-mm thickness, and a cytologic smear and a frozen section were obtained from each slice. The slices are completely cut into serial sections at 100-microm intervals. Two consecutive 4-microm-thick sections are then obtained from each level and were prepared for HE staining and IHC. Nonsentinel lymph nodes are evaluated similarly to SLNs. The authors obtain 4076 SLN sections and 32 012 NSLN sections, for a total of 36 088 sections. A comparison of HE staining versus IHC based on the total number of sections shows a sensitivity of 93.8%, a negative predictive value of 98.9%, and an accuracy of 99.1%. The values obtained by HE staining are similar to those obtained by IHC.

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