Evaluation of immunohistochemical fine sectioning for sentinel lymph node biopsy in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Gina D. Jefferson, David Sollaccio, Carmen R. Gomez-Fernandez, Francisco Civantos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the level of sentinel lymph node sectioning necessary to accurately detect nodal micrometastasis. Study Design. Cross-sectional. Setting. Tertiary care university medical center. Subjects and Methods. Fine sections of oral squamous cell carcinoma sentinel lymph nodes previously sectioned at 2-mm intervals in a prospective clinical trial were reexamined. The results yielded from prior hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical staining were compared with results following exhaustive serial sectioning at 150-μm intervals using identical staining methods. These experimental findings were compared with pathologic results of immediate completion selective neck dissection, previously recorded prospectively. Results. Reexamination of 35 sentinel nodes at 150-μm intervals has not revealed any missed micrometastatic disease at 2-mm intervals used initially. Both comparisons of 150-μm sectioning analysis to the original 2-mm section samples and to the neck dissection pathology reports demonstrate a 100% negative predictive value. Conclusion. These data suggest that sentinel lymph node sectioning at 2-mm intervals for oral carcinoma using hematoxylin and eosin staining and then immunohistochemical analysis maximizes efficiency, accuracy, and expenditure for the detection of micrometastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-219
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Lymph nodes
  • Mouth neoplasms
  • Pathology
  • Radionuclide imaging
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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