Sentinel node staging of early breast cancer using lymphoscintigraphy and the intraoperative gamma detecting probe

Radiol Clin North Am. 2001 Sep;39(5):947-56, viii. doi: 10.1016/s0033-8389(05)70322-5.


Lymphoscintigraphy combined with intraoperative gamma-probe detection of sentinel lymph nodes in patients with inoperable early primary breast cancers is effective for staging the disease. The clinical alternative is axillary lymph node dissection, which is a far more invasive procedure and is accompanied by significant morbidity. Accuracy of staging is enhanced by immunohistochemical staining of micrometastases, which pathologists can easily perform for one to three sentinel lymph nodes, but not for 20 to 30 nodes, using axillary dissection procedure. Optimum methodology is presented for performing sentinel lymph node imaging and is important for accurate identification of sentinel node(s).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals