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systemic therapy provide a rational reduction of axillary dissection in patients with Sentinel Lymph Nodes free from
breast cancer cells. The aim of our study was to assess the state of the perisentinel lymph nodes removed and how these
nodes can provide further information about the status of the axillary lymph nodes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have analysed data about 319 patients undergoing surgery for benign and malignant
breast disease from January 2007 to July 2010; 134 cases were subjected to the sentinel lymph node biopsy; 29 cases
of these patients had the presence of perisentinel lymph nodes at histological examination. Before the intervention, we
have used colloidal albumin marked with 99mtc to select the sentinel lymph node; during the intervention, we identified
by probe the ipercaptant lymph node, consequently we removed and sent it to histological extemporaneous definitive
RESULTS: In 134 Sentinel Lymph Nodes examined, 15 resulted positive for breast cancer cells at extemporaneous examination.
In these cases, we decided to proceed with an axillary dissection in the same operative session, with the discovery
of axillary lymph nodes metastases in 3 cases on 15 (20%). The positive predictive value of sentinel lymph node in
case of positivity was 0.2. 8 cases (6,7% of the lymph nodes sentinel biopsy made) were negative to extemporaneous
examination and positive to definitive histological examination for presence of micrometastasis. In 8 axillary dissection,
3 patients were positive for the presence of metastasis.
We have analysed with the test “t-student” these data divided on age and the value of Ki-67. Then we calculated the
predictive positive and negative value (patients with negative sentinel lymph node: Mean age (± sd) =61.93±13. 8 years,
ki-67=10. 87±5. 78; patients with positive sentinel lymph node: Age mean (± sd) =64 ±12 36 years, ki-67=14. 08
± 8.005). The study showed no statistically significant differences between the positive and negative sentinel lymphnodes
about the age (p=0.58) and the Ki-67 (p=0.184). In the 29 cases in which the sentinel lymph node was negative at
extemporaneous histological examination and in which were removed the perisentinel lymph nodes, resulted negative at
definitive histological examination, the negative predictive value was equal to 1.
CONCLUSIONS: The method of sentinel lymph node has demonstrated to be a reproducible, reliable and safe technique.
The positivity of sentinel lymph node at final examination (micrometastasis, cells isolated) in case of extemporaneous examination
negative for breast cancer cells, determines specifical considerations on surgical indication to axillary dissection. We
think that in selected cases (age, biological characteristic of cancer) in which perisentinel lymph nodes were removed and
free from breast cancer cells, may not be indicated in case of sentinel node positivity, the axillary dissection.