The role of ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy of lymph nodes in patients with skin tumours

Francesco Maria Solivetti, Fulvia Elia, Maria Giulia Santaguida, Antonino Guerrisi, Paolo Visca, Maria Cecilia Cercato, Aldo Di Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound (US) in the study of superficial lymph nodes during the follow-up of patients surgically treated for skin tumours. The secondary objective was to compare positive cytological results with histological reports. Patients and methods. From 2004 to 2011, 480 patients (male/female: 285/195; median age 57 years; prevalent skin tumour: melanoma) underwent US-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of suspicious recurrent lymph nodes. An expert radiologist first performed US testing of the lymph nodes, expressing either a negative or positive outcome of the test. Subsequently, US-guided FNAB was performed. FNAB positive patients were subjected to lymphadenectomy; the patients who tested negative underwent the follow-up. Results. The size of lymph nodes was = 2 cm in 90% of cases. Out of the 336 (70%) US "positive" patients, 231 (68.8%) were FNAB positives. Out of the 144 (30%) US "negatives", 132 (91.7%) were FNAB negatives. The sensitivity and specificity of the US were 95% and 55.7%, respectively; the negative predictive value was 91.7% and the positive predictive value was 68.8%. Definitive histological results confirmed FNAB positivity in 97.5% of lymphadenectomies. Conclusions. US is a sensitive method in the evaluation of superficial lymph nodes during the follow-up of patients with skin tumours. High positive predictive value of cytology was confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalRadiology and Oncology
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy
  • Follow-up
  • Skin tumours
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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