Safety of sentinel node biopsy in pregnant patients with breast cancer

O. Gentilini, M. Cremonesi, G. Trifirò, M. Ferrari, S. M. Baio, M. Caracciolo, A. Rossi, A. Smeets, V. Galimberti, A. Luini, G. Tosi, G. Paganelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lymphoscintigraphy (LS) and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) have typically been contraindicated for pregnant patients diagnosed with breast cancer because they are considered unsafe. Patients and methods: Twenty-six premenopausal non-pregnant patients who were candidates for LS underwent peritumoral injection of ∼ 12 MBq of 99mTc-HSA nanocolloids. Static [15 min and 16h post-injection (p.i.)] and whole-body (16h p.i.) scintigraphic images were acquired. Activity concentration in the urine (0-2, 2-4, 4-8, 8-16h p.i.) was evaluated by a gamma-counter. Activity in the bloodstream was measured at 4 and 16h p.i. Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) were placed, before tracer injection, on the injection site, between injection site and epigastrium (two points), and on the epigastrium, umbilicus and hypogastrium, and were removed before surgery. Results: Scintigraphic images showed no radiotracer concentration except in the injection site and in the sentinel node. In all patients, the total activity excreted within the first 16h was 99mTc-HAS), LS and SLNB can be performed safely during pregnancy, since the very low prenatal doses from this diagnostic procedure, when properly performed, do not significantly increase the risk of prenatal death, malformation or mental impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1351
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation protection
  • Sentinel node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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