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Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Neoplasms, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Intraoperative Period, Ireland, Middle Aged, Radionuclide Imaging, Retrospective Studies, Sensitivity and Specificity, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, Technetium Tc 99m Aggregated Albumin


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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.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Surgery


AlSahaf 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

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