The role of preoperative ultrasound scan in detecting lymph node metastasis before sentinel node biopsy in melanoma patients

Carlo Riccardo Rossi, Simone Mocellin, Barbara Scagnet, Mirto Foletto, Antonella Vecchiato, Pierluigi Pilati, Alberto Tregnaghi, Giorgio Zavagno, Roberto Stramare, Leopoldo Rubaltelli, Cristina Montesco, Simonetta Borsato, Domenico Rubello, Mario Lise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of preoperative ultrasound (US) scanning in identifying lymph node metastasis before sentinel node biopsy (SNB), we conducted a prospective study on 125 patients with primary cutaneous melanoma (CM). Methods: We prospectively enrolled 125 patients with >1 mm thick CM and candidate for SNB. Preoperatively, patients underwent US scanning of regional lymphatic basins and FNA of suspected lymph nodes (LN). All patients underwent lymphatic mapping and SNB. Results: Combined with fine-needle aspirate (FNA) of suspect LN, US scan allowed the correct preoperative detection of 12 out of 31 histologically positive lymphatic basins, specificity and sensitivity being 100 and 39%, respectively. The false negative rate (61%) was mainly linked to tumor deposits less than 2 mm in diameter, which can be considered the current spatial resolution limit of this technique. Conclusions: Preoperative US scan could reduce the number of SNB, thus avoiding the stress of this surgical procedure in ∼10% of patients and reducing health care costs. As a non-invasive and relatively inexpensive technique, lymph node US scan can be part of the preoperative staging process of patients' candidate for SNB in order to avoid unnecessary surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003

Keywords

  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel node biopsy
  • Ultrasound scan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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