The detection of sentinel nodes (SNs) outside the axilla occurs in 1% to 2% of the cases after superficial injection of technetium Tc99m radioactive tracer in patients with breast cancer. The aim of this study was to verify whether a deep injection can visualize the internal mammary chain nodes in a higher percentage of cases and to assess the impact of internal mammary node status on disease stage. One hundred eligible patients with T1-2 N0 lesions of the inner quadrants were enrolled into the study. In all patients, a deep injection of the radioactive tracer above the pectoralis muscle was performed. SNs at the internal mammary chain were visualized in 65.6% of cases (63 of 96 patients). Internal mammary chain localization was prevalent in the second and third intercostal spaces. Radioactive tracer-guided biopsy of the internal mammary chain was performed in 62 of 63 patients. In 7 patients, the internal mammary node was positive. Sampling proved simple and risks insignificant with a stage migration in 8% of cases. Deep injection allows the localization of the SN at the internal mammary chain in more than 60% of inner-quadrant breast lesions. Axillary plus internal mammary node biopsy provided stage migration in 8% of patients. It is unclear whether this additional information can lead to better survival.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Seminars in Breast Disease|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
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