Prospective evaluation of the limitations of near-infrared imaging in detecting axillary sentinel lymph nodes in primary breast cancer

Breast J. 2018 Nov;24(6):1006-1009. doi: 10.1111/tbj.13123. Epub 2018 Oct 8.


We compared the performance of near-infrared imaging using indocyanine green (ICG) with the radioisotope (ISO) method to detect sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in breast cancer, to analyze predictive factors for negative ICG identification. The study included 122 patients who underwent sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) using the combined ISO and ICG technique for primary breast cancer. We assessed the putative association between pathologic/clinical variables and ICG failure to detect SLNs. The ISO identification rate was 96.7% and ICG identification 81.9%. Overweight patients or presence of macrometastasis in SLNB were associated with the risk of ICG failing to detect SLNs (P = 0.02).

Keywords: breast cancer; false negative; indocyanine green; sentinel lymph node; technetium.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Axilla / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight
  • Sentinel Lymph Node / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sentinel Lymph Node / pathology
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy / methods
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Indocyanine Green