Study of targeted four node sampling of axilla in management of carcinoma of breast
Keywords:Carcinoma of breast, Four node sampling of axilla, Methylene blue
Background: Axillary lymph node sampling is considered as one of the most pivotal investigations in determining the lymph node status in management of carcinoma breast. The present study attempts to assess sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of axillary four node sampling (FNS) in management of carcinoma of breast, and its efficacy in downstaged patients.
Methods: A total of 35 patients, node negative operable cases of carcinoma breast and locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) patients downstaged after 3 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, were enrolled. Lymph node mapping was done by injecting 3 - 5 ml of methylene blue dye, just before surgery. Level 1 lymph nodes stained by methylene blue were sampled and axillary dissection was carried out, level 3 lymph nodes were identified and sampled, rest of the axillary dissection specimen was sent as a separate sample for histopathological examination , node positivity was compared in level 1 and level 3 , and conclusions were drawn.
Results: The sensitivity, specificity for FNS in node negative operable cases were found to be 83.33% and 91.3% respectively. The negative and positive predictive value were found to be 95.40% and 71.42% respectively. Specificity of FNS in LABC downstaged patients was found to be 40%.
Conclusions: Targeted four node sampling using methylene blue dye can be considered as an alternative method for sentinel lymph node. Further study should be conducted to establish it as a reliable method for axillary lymph node staging.
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