Fallacies of preoperative lymphoscintigraphy in detecting sentinel node in breast cancer.

Research paper by Manoj M Pandey, Surya Vs SV Deo, R R Maharajan

Indexed on: 02 Jun '05Published on: 02 Jun '05Published in: World Journal of Surgical Oncology


BACKGROUND: Preoperative lymphoscintigraphy is one of the three methods of evaluating sentinel nodes in patients with breast cancer; however, it has been reported to have a high false negative rate. CASE PRESENTATIONS: We report here two cases where the preoperative lymphoscintigraphy was found to be fallacious. A 44-year-old female with T2N0 breast cancer underwent preoperative lymphoscintigraphy with Tc99 sulfur colloid which failed to show any uptake in axilla or internal mammary chain. Intraoperative scintigraphy with blue dye and hand held gamma probe identified sentinel lymph node in axilla. Another patient with T2N0 lesion underwent preoperative lymphoscintigraphy which showed a sentinel lymph node in axilla and another in supraclevicular fossa. Intraoperative scintigraphy failed to show supraclevicular node however axillary node was correctly identified. CONCLUSION: These two cases further strengthen the need to carry out triple test in identification of sentinel lymph node in patients with breast cancer. It also demonstrates the fallacies of preoperative lymphoscintigraphy.