Comparison of Different Techniques for the Assessment of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Melanoma: A Systematic Review

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2023 Dec 22;11(12):e5447. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000005447. eCollection 2023 Dec.


Background: The gold standard for sentinel lymph node staging in melanoma is the use of the combined technique of radioisotope plus blue dye. New techniques and alternative methods have been proposed, with the promise of achieving comparable efficacy. We then carried out a literature search.

Methods: We conducted a literature search using the "sentinel lymph node biopsy" and "melanoma" keywords, then selected the case-control studies (the quality of which was assessed using the STROBE criteria).

Results: Twelve studies of 13,017 were selected, concerning the identification rate of indocyanine green fluorescence and indocyanine green-99mtc-nanocolloid techniques. We have found a comparable identification rate between the various techniques, even if given the small population present for some techniques, the results did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusions: The use of new techniques in sentinel lymph node detection promises results comparable to the gold standard techniques, but further studies are needed to validate these methods in the context of melanoma surgery.