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Surg Res Pract. 2017;2017:5924802. doi: 10.1155/2017/5924802. Epub 2017 Apr 13.

Intraoperative Injection of Technetium-99m Sulfur Colloid for Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Breast Cancer Patients: A Single Institution Experience.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Background. Most institutions require a patient undergoing sentinel lymph node biopsy to go through nuclear medicine prior to surgery to be injected with radioisotope. This study describes the long-term results using intraoperative injection of radioisotope. Methods. Since late 2002, all patients undergoing a sentinel lymph node biopsy at the Yale-New Haven Breast Center underwent intraoperative injection of technetium-99m sulfur colloid. Endpoints included number of sentinel and nonsentinel lymph nodes obtained and number of positive sentinel and nonsentinel lymph nodes. Results. At least one sentinel lymph node was obtained in 2,333 out of 2,338 cases of sentinel node biopsy for an identification rate of 99.8%. The median number of sentinel nodes found was 2 and the mean was 2.33 (range: 1-15). There were 512 cases (21.9%) in which a sentinel node was positive for metastatic carcinoma. Of the patients with a positive sentinel lymph node who underwent axillary dissection, there were 242 cases (54.2%) with no additional positive nonsentinel lymph nodes. Advantages of intraoperative injection included increased comfort for the patient and simplification of scheduling. There were no radiation related complications. Conclusion. Intraoperative injection of technetium-99m sulfur colloid is convenient, effective, safe, and comfortable for the patient.

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