Sentinel Node Mapping Using Indocyanine Green and Near-infrared Fluorescence Imaging Technology for Uterine Malignancies: Preliminary Experience With the Da Vinci Xi System

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Study Objective: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping has emerged as the new frontier for the surgical staging of apparently early-stage cervical and endometrial cancer. Different colorimetric and radioactive tracers, alone and in combination, have been proposed with encouraging results. Fluorometric mapping using indocyanine green (ICG) appears to be a suitable and attractive alternative to provide reliable staging [1-4]. Design: In this video, we present the technique of SLN mapping in 2 cases (1 endometrial and 1 cervical cancer, respectively) using ICG and the near-infrared technology provided by the newest Da Vinci Xi robotic system (Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, CA). Together we report the results of our preliminary experience on the first 20 cases performed. The new robotic Da Vinci Xi system was available at our institution since May 2015. Intervention: Upon institutional review board/ethical committee approval, all consecutive patients with early-stage endometrial and cervical cancer who were judged suitable for robotic surgery have been enrolled for SLN mapping with ICG. We adopted the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center SLN algorithm; the tracer was delivered into the cervix in all cases. Four milliliters (1.25 mg/mL) of ICG was injected divided into the 3- and 9-o'clock positions of the cervix alone, with 1 mL deep into the stroma and 1 mL submucosally at the skin incision. Sentinel lymph nodes were examined with a protocol including both ultrastaging with immunohistochemistry [3] and 1-step nucleic acid amplification assay [5,6] under a parallel protocol of study. During the study period, 20 cases were managed; 14 and 6 patients had endometrial and cervical cancer, respectively. SLN was detected in all cases (20/20, 100%). Bilateral SLNs were detected in 17 of 20 (85.0%) cases. Based on preoperative and intraoperative findings, 13 (65.0%) patients received systematic pelvic lymphadenectomy after SLN mapping. Three (15.0%) patients had microscopic nodal metastases on SLN. No patients had positive regional nodes other than SLN. No perioperative complications were recorded. Conclusion: SLN mapping has been acknowledged by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines as a viable option for the management of selected uterine malignancies [7,8]. Currently, the near-infrared technology built in the Da Vinci Xi system provides an enhanced real-time imaging system that improves the advantages given by ICG. Together with our experience, these conditions indicate that SLN mapping is an effective and safe procedure with high overall detection and low false-negative rates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 3 2015


  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Robotic surgery
  • Sentinel node mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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