Morphometry of isolated tumor cells in breast cancer sentinel lymph nodes: Metastases or displacement?

Carolien H M Van Deurzen, Peter Bult, Maaike De Boer, Ron Koelemij, Richard Van Hillegersberg, Vivianne C G Tjan-Heijnen, Monique G G Hobbelink, Peter C. De Bruin, Paul J. Van Diest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Iatrogenic displacement and mechanical transport of epithelial cells to the sentinel node (SN) has been suggested to result in false-positive findings in breast cancer patients, but little biologic evidence has yet been presented for this hypothesis. As malignant nuclei are larger than benign ones, nuclear morphometry of SN isolated tumor cells (ITC) could provide relevant information with regard to the malignant origin-or-not of epithelial cells in the SN. In patients with primary invasive breast cancer and SN ITC with (N=16) or without (N=45) non-SN involvement, nuclear morphometry was performed on the primary tumor as well as on the ITC in the SN. Nuclear size in the primary tumor was compared with that in the corresponding ITC. Patients with SN micrometastases (N=30) and SN macrometastases (N=30) served as controls. Nuclear size of ITC was significantly smaller compared with nuclear size of the corresponding primary tumor (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-110
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Isolated tumor cells
  • Morphometry
  • Sentinel node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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