Lymphoscintigraphy has become part of the standard of care for patients with a new or recurrent diagnosis of melanoma, in helping determine the status of regional lymph nodes. Correct identification of sentinel lymph nodes enables the surgeon to further delineate the extent of malignancy by allowing sampling of the appropriate nodal group. Performing the lymphoscintigraphy prior to the planned operation allows limited surgery with less extensive postoperative morbidity. For this reason, a thorough knowledge of the lymph node drainage patterns from the different primary tumor locations, as well as of proper lymphoscintigraphic techniques and radiopharmaceuticals, constitutes an important armamentarium in the hands of surgeons, radiologists, and nuclear medicine physicians.
Copyright RSNA, 2009