Lymphoscintigraphy and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration cytology of sentinel lymph nodes in head and neck cancer patients.

E. J. Nieuwenhuis*, D. R. Colnot, H. J. Pijpers, J. A. Castelijns, P. J. van Diest, R. H. Brakenhoff, G. B. Snow, M. W. van den Brekel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Accurate staging of the regional lymph nodes is crucial for the appropriate management of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC). However, the current diagnostic modalities have low accuracy for N0 neck, and even the most optimal procedure, ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration cytology (USgFNAC), still has a sensitivity of only 42%-73%. In this study we evaluated whether the identification of the sentinel node might improve the selection of lymph nodes for USgFNAC. Twelve HNSCC patients received 3-4 peritumoral injections of 10-30 MBq 99mTc-labeled colloidal albumin, and the sentinel node was identified by dynamic scintigraphy and marked on the skin using a handheld probe, and/or by scintillation counting of the aspirates. After sentinel node identification USgFNAC was performed. Correct aspiration of the identified sentinel node(s) was confirmed by scintillation counting. In 11 out of 12 cases the sentinel node(s) could be visualized by dynamic planar imaging. In one case the sentinel node(s) were identified by scintillation counting only. In a number of patients different or supplementary lymph nodes were aspirated on the basis of sentinel node identification. These initial data strongly suggest that sentinel node identification might improve the staging of the neck by USgFNAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-217
Number of pages12
JournalRecent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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