Sentinel lymph node biopsy for breast cancer: The role of previous biopsy on patient eligibility

Thomas J. Miner, Craig D. Shriver*, David P. Jaques, Mary E. Maniscalco-Theberge, David N. Krag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Several reports have demonstrated the accurate prediction of axillary nodal status with radiolocalization and selective resection of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in patients with breast cancer (BC). Because of concerns over lymphatic disruption, several authors have proposed that prior excisional breast biopsy is a contraindication for SLN biopsy. Clear unfiltered (99m)technetium-sulfur colloid (1.0 mCi) was injected around the perimeter of the breast lesion (palpable and nonpalpable) or prior biopsy site. Resection of the radiolocalized SLN was then performed. Axillary lymph node dissection was performed immediately after SLN biopsy in the first 57 patients. Eighty- two BC patients underwent SLN biopsy. The SLN was localized in 98 per cent (80 of 82). The type of previously performed diagnostic biopsy or the location of the primary lesion did not influence the ability to localize the sentinel lymph node. In the 57 patients who had axillary lymph node dissection, metastatic disease was identified in 23 per cent (13 of 57). Axillary nodal status was accurately predicted in 98 per cent (56 of 57). Early experience with radiolocalization and selective resection of SLN in BC remains promising. By demonstrating the effective localization of the SLN regardless of the extent of prior biopsy, these data support expanding the number of patients potentially eligible for SLN biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-499
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Sentinel lymph node biopsy for breast cancer: The role of previous biopsy on patient eligibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this