Lymphoscintigraphy in clinical routine practice: Reproducibility and accuracy in melanoma patients with a long-term follow-up

G. C. Vitali, G. Trifirò, M. Zonta, E. Pennacchioli, L. Santoro, L. L. Travaini, M. Barberis, A. Testori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction The sentinel node status is the most important single factor determining overall survival for patients with localized melanoma. Preoperative lymphoscintigraphy (LS) is essential in locating the correct sentinel lymph node (SN) and the reproducibility of the method determines the accuracy of the sentinel node biopsy (SNB). This study aims at determining the reproducibility and accuracy of LS in routine clinical practice after long-term follow-up. Patients and methods One hundred and eight melanoma patients with clinically unpredictable lymphatic drainage were prospectively enrolled to undergo two LS. The first LS was performed to determine the site and number of the lymphatic basins to plan SNB anesthesia and the second preoperative LS was to allow SN localization intra-operatively. Results Lymphatic drainage was demonstrated in all patients. In 84 of 108 cases, both LSs were concordant in terms of site and number of nodal basins visualized. After a median follow-up of 80 months, no nodal recurrence was observed in the five patients with a decreased number of lymph node basins. In the group with increased number of lymph node basins, one patient developed nodal metastases in the same regional lymph node basin visualized by both LS studies. Conclusion LS is an accurate and reproducible method to determine the localization of the sentinel node in the day-to-day routine to clinical practice when primary melanoma is also located in body sites with variable lymphatic drainage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Clinical routine practice
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Melanoma
  • Reproducibility
  • Sentinel lymph node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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