Intra-operative examination of the sentinel node in breast cancer.
Intra-operative sentinel node analysis allows immediate progression to axillary clearance in patients with node positive breast cancer and reduces the need for re-operation. Despite this, intra-operative sentinel node analysis is infrequently performed in Ireland. We report our experience using this technique. Sentinel node biopsy was performed in 47 consecutive patients with symptomatic T1-T2 clinically node negative breast cancer. Sentinel nodes were examined intra-operatively by frozen section and imprint cytology and definitive histological assessment was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue. The sentinel node was identified in 46 (98%) patients. Twelve patients had axillary metastases. The sensitivity of intra-operative analysis in identifying nodal metastases was 92%. False negative rate was 8%, negative predictive value 97%, and specificity 100%. Intra-operative analysis of the sentinel node allowed re-operation to be avoided in 92% of patients with axillary node metastases. In our experience this technique can be readily introduced with reliable outcomes.
CommentsThe original article is available at imj.ie
Published CitationAlSahaf M, AlShaban B, Mulsow J, Power C, Leen E, Walsh TN. Intra-operative examination of the sentinel node in breast cancer. Irish Medical Journal. 2008;101(4):120-2