Sentinel lymph node localization in early breast cancer

Seza A. Gulec, Frederick L. Moffat, Robert G. Carroll, Aldo N. Serafmi, George N. Sfakianakis, Lisa Alien, Jodeen Boggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Methods: Thirty-two patients with clinical node-negative breast cancer underwent sentinel node localization study as part of a National Cancer Institute-sponsored multicenter trial. Anatomical and histopathologic characteristics of sentinel lymph node (SLN) and a kinetic analysis of nodal uptake were studied. Patients were injected with 1 mCi/4 ml unfiltered 99mTc-sulfur colloid in four divided doses around the palpable lesion or immediately adjacent to the excision cavity if prior biopsy was performed. SLN biopsy was performed 1.5-6 hr (mean = 3 hr) postinjection. Intraoperative localization was performed using a gamma probe. All patients underwent complete axillary dissection. Results: SLN was identified in 30 of 32 (94%) patients. There were no false-negative SLN biopsies. Conclusion: This study supports the clinical validity of SLN biopsy in breast cancer and confirms that, unlike the blue dye technique, the learning curve with unfiltered 99mTc-sulfur colloid and the gamma detection probe is short, and SLN localization is achievable in over 90% of cases by surgeons with modest experience. The use of unfiltered 99mTc-sulfur colloid (larger particle size) with larger injected volume permits effective localization of SLNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1388-1393
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number8 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1998


  • Breast cancer
  • Intraoperative gamma probe
  • Sentinel node
  • Sulfur colloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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