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Comparative Study
, 27 (4), 805-812

Sentinel Lymphadenectomy in Vulvar Cancer Using Near-Infrared Fluorescence From Indocyanine Green Compared With Technetium 99m Nanocolloid

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Comparative Study

Sentinel Lymphadenectomy in Vulvar Cancer Using Near-Infrared Fluorescence From Indocyanine Green Compared With Technetium 99m Nanocolloid

Philipp Soergel et al. Int J Gynecol Cancer.

Abstract

Objective: Nowadays, sentinel diagnostic is performed using technetium 99m (Tc) nanocolloid as a radioactive marker and sometimes patent blue. In the last years, indocyanine green has been evaluated for sentinel diagnostic in different tumor entities. Indocyanine green is a fluorescent molecule that emits a light signal in the near-infrared band after excitation. Our study aimed to evaluate indocyanine green compared with the criterion-standard Tc-nanocolloid.

Methods: We included patients with primary, unifocal vulvar cancer of less than 4 cm with clinically node-negative groins in this prospective trial. Sentinel diagnostic was carried out using Tc-nanocolloid, indocyanine green, and patent blue. We examined each groin for light signals from the near-infrared band, for radioactivity, and for blue staining. A sentinel lymph node was defined as a Tc-nanocolloid-positive lymph node. All sentinel lymph nodes and all additional blue or fluorescent lymph nodes were excised and tested and then sent for histologic examination.

Results: In all, 27 patients were included in whom we found 91 sentinel lymph nodes in 52 groins. All these lymph nodes were positive for indocyanine green, also giving a sensitivity of 100% (95% confidence interval [CI], 96.0%-100%) compared with Tc-nanocolloid. Eight additional lymph nodes showed indocyanine green fluorescence but no Tc positivity, so that the positive predictive value was 91.9% (95% confidence interval, 84.6%-96.5%). In 1 patient, a false-negative sentinel missed by all 3 modalities was found.

Conclusions: Our results show that indocyanine green is a promising approach for inguinal sentinel identification in vulvar cancer with a similar sensitivity as radioactive Tc-nanocolloid and worth to be evaluated in further studies.

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