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Breast. 2010 Jun;19(3):210-3. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2010.01.014. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

Evaluation of sentinel node biopsy by combined fluorescent and dye method and lymph flow for breast cancer.

Author information

1
National Cancer Center Hospital, Department of Surgery and Division of Breast Cancer, 5-1-1 Tsukiji Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. tahojo@ncc.go.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Conservative breast resection with subsequent sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNB) is an increasingly popular initial approach for the treatment of breast cancer due to decreased invasiveness. SNB is a shorter procedure with fewer side effects than more substantial surgical procedures, but it sometimes fails to identify metastatic disease. Therefore, a highly sensitive and convenient method is needed to identify sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) with a high probability of containing disease in SNB. We compared the combination of radioisotope or dye with a fluorescence compound to analyze lymph flow to identify targets for SNB.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We examined patients with breast cancer lacking metastases in the axillary lymph node (ALN). Two methods for targeted SNB were developed: (1) Indocyanine Green (ICG) and Patent blue were injected into the skin overlying the tumor and sub-areolar region just before the surgical procedure. (2) ICG and radiocolloid were injected into the skin overlying the tumor and sub-areolar region. The draining fluorescent lymphatic duct was visualized using a Photodynamic Eye (PDE). We removed the SLNs that were identified by the dye and fluorescence imaging methods. Method 1 was applied to 113 patients undergoing SNB, and 29 patients were treated with Method 2. In our study, patients were grouped by lymph flow into two types: Type C demonstrated convergence to one lymph duct. Type S demonstrated separate lymph ducts.

RESULTS:

Using the fluorescence imaging method, 99.3% of SLNs were identified, and 3.8 SLNs per patient were seen. The SLN identification rates for Patent blue dye and radiocolloid were 92.9% and 100%, respectively, while 1.9 and 2.0 SLNs per patient, respectively, were seen with these methods. We classified two types of lymph flow based on the pattern of lymphatic drainage. Type C converged to a single lymph duct, while Type S drained to separate ducts. Type S lymph drainage was seen in 29/142 patients (20.4%), and Type C drainage was found in 113/141 patients (79.6%). Of the patients with Type S drainage, there were 4.1 SLNs per patient, but only 3.4 SLNs per patient were seen in individuals with Type C drainage. Forty cases had metastases found in the ALNs, and five of these cases were dye-negative and fluorescence-positive. Among these cases, the average number of SLNs identified was one.

CONCLUSION:

The combination of fluorescence with a visible dye is a highly sensitive method for SLN identification. When SNB is guided by only the dye method, there is a risk of missing appropriate SLNs in patients with Type S lymph drainage or weak dye staining. The use of a fluorescence method together with dye could increase sensitivity of detection in these cases. Furthermore, fluorescent methods are ideal for hospitals that cannot use conventional radioactive measures.

PMID:
20153649
DOI:
10.1016/j.breast.2010.01.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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