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Rev Med Chil. 2008 Aug;136(8):1015-20. doi: /S0034-98872008000800008. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

[Exclusive use of blue dye to detect sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Cirugía, Unidad de Gestión Clínica del Adulto, Hospital Padre Hurtado, Santiago, Chile.



The use of a dye and radiocolloid to detect sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer increases the detection rates. However the use of either method alone does not modify the false negative rate. Therefore there is no formal contraindication for the exclusive use of dye to detect nodes.


To report a prospective analysis of the exclusive blue dye technique for sentinel node biopsy in patients with early breast cancer.


We analyzed the first 100 women with pathologically proven breast cancer who met the inclusion criteria. Patent blue dye was used as colorant. In the first 25 cases sentinel node was identified using radiocolloid and blue dye an then an axillary dissection performed. In the next 25 women, blue dye was used exclusively for detection and an axillary dissection was performed. In the next 50 cases, blue dye was used and only isolated sentinel node biopsy was performed.


In 92 of the 100 women a sentinel node was successfully detected. In the first 50 women, the false negative rate of sentinel lymph node detection was 6.9%. No complications occurred. During follow-up, lasting three to 29 months, no axillary relapse was observed.


Sentinel node biopsy in patients with early breast cancer using exclusively blue dye is feasible and safe.

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