Background: For superficial tumors such as melanoma, breast, and vulvar cancer, sentinel node detection prevents unnecessary extensive lymph node dissections. Sentinel node detection has not yet proved feasible in tumors, such as cervical cancer, that drain to deep pelvic lymph nodes. Technique: We injected technetium-99m colloidal albumin around the tumor allowing preoperative lymphscintigraphy and intraoperative gamma probe detection of sentinel nodes. For visual detection, blue dye was injected at the start of surgery. Experience: In six of 10 eligible women who had Wertheim-Meigs operations for cervical cancer stage Ib, one or more sentinel nodes could be detected by scintigraphy. Intraoperative gamma probe detection was successful in eight of ten women, whereas visual detection found sentinel nodes in only four. They were found as far as the common iliac level. One woman had positive lymph nodes, of which one was a sentinel node. Conclusion: Identification of sentinel nodes using radionuclide is possible in women with cervical cancer and potentially identifies women in whom lymph node dissection can be avoided. Copyright (C) 2000 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology