Gamma-probe-guided lymph node localization in malignant melanoma

Surg Oncol. 1993 Oct;2(5):303-8. doi: 10.1016/s0960-7404(06)80006-x.


The initial draining lymph node (sentinel node) has been successfully localized using intraoperative vital dye mapping and reportedly is predictive of regional nodal metastases in Clinical- Stage 1 melanoma. In an animal model, we previously established the technique of gamma-probe-guided localization of the technetium-99 sulfur colloid labelled sentinel node and found its sensitivity equal to vital dye mapping. We now report our initial experience using gamma-probe-guided localization to identify and then surgically remove the first draining lymph node(s) in 10 malignant melanoma patients. Lymphoscintigraphy was used to confirm localization. We conclude that this technique: (a) reliably localizes the sentinel node draining the site of a primary melanoma, (b) allows the lymphatic bed to be checked intraoperatively verifying complete sentinel node biopsy, and (c) is relatively simple and can be performed under local anaesthesia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Axilla
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid*


  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid