Lymphoscintigraphy with intraoperative gamma probe sentinel node detection: Clinical impact in patients with head and neck melanomas

M. Maccauro, C. Villano, G. Aliberti, L. Ferrari, M. R. Castellani, R. Patuzzo, D. Tshering, M. Santinami, E. Bombardieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. The aims of this paper were to evaluate the clinical relevance of lymphoscintigraphy with intraoperative gamma-probe detection in identifying sentinel nodes (SNs) and to study the prognostic value of SN biopsy in head and neck melanoma patients. Methods. Sixty-one patients had lympphoscintigraphy with intradermal injections of 99mTc-nanocoll® (40 MBq), 24 h before surgery. Tumor-positive SNs patients underwent total lymph node dissection Postoperative histological examination was performed. Patients were followed up for 1 to 5 years (median 3 years). The tumor relapses and the overall survival were evaluated by means of statistical methods. Results. Lymphoscintigraphy showed lymphatic distribution to more than one basin in 45 patients (74%), in 15 patients one basin was visualized and no basin in 1 patient. In 41 patients the SN was negative for metastases, while in 20 was positive. In a high percentage of patients (30%), metastatic involvement occurred in more than one lymph node basin. During follow-up in the negative SN group, 40 patients remained disease free and 1 relapsed. In the positive SN group, 10 patients remained disease free and 10 relapsed. Recurrence time ranged from 6 to 11 months. The overall survival of the SNs negative group was significantly higher than the positive SN group. Conclusion. This approach was able to distinguish: a) patients with tumor-negative SNs with a favorable clinical course (98% did not relapse, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalQuarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


  • Head and neck neoplasms
  • Intraoperative sentinel node biopsy
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Melanoma
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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