Methylene blue dye as an alternative to isosulfan blue dye for sentinel lymph node localization

Breast J. 2001 May-Jun;7(3):181-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4741.2001.007003181.x.


Isosulfan blue dye has been used with increasing frequency in localizing sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer patients. Few alternative types of dye have been investigated. In a prospective study of 30 patients, methylene blue dye was used instead of isosulfan blue dye to localize the sentinel lymph node. The methylene blue dye localization technique was successful in 90% of patients. These results are similar to those for isosulfan blue dye. This study describes methylene blue dye localization as a successful alternative to isosulfan dye in identifying the sentinel node in breast cancer patients. The methylene blue dye technique offers a substantial cost reduction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Axilla
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Coloring Agents
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Methylene Blue* / economics
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rosaniline Dyes* / economics
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy / economics
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy / methods*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • iso-sulfan blue
  • Methylene Blue