Use of intraoperative stereomicroscopy for preventing loss of metastases during frozen sectioning of sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer.
ABSTRACT Optimal detection of metastases in sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) remains controversial. To determine the reliability of intraoperative frozen sections, SLN protocol with one frozen section was compared with macroscopic SLN evaluation with consecutive complete SLN embedding.
SLN from 135 consecutive breast cancer patients were analysed under a sereomicroscope. Frozen sections were performed in suspicious or clearly involved SLN on cut surface. One control group (n = 143) underwent one intraoperative frozen section on each SLN. The second control group (n = 90) was subjected to stereomicroscopy and one intraoperative frozen section on each SLN. A conventional SLN protocol with cytokeratin immunohistochemistry was performed postoperatively in all cases. All groups were statistically comparable. In the study group metastases were suspected in 21 SLN (16%) under the stereomicroscope and all were confirmed histologically. The negative SLN rate was significantly lower in the study group than in the main control group (47% versus 64%, P = 0.008), suggesting loss of metastases during frozen sections. More macrometastases were detected in the study group (30% versus 15%, P = 0.006); there were no differences in isolated tumour cells or micrometastases. The false-negative rate was significantly lower in the control groups (29% versus 13% and 12%, P = 0.001).
Frozen sections potentially lead to loss or reduced size of metastatic deposits in SLN. Avoiding intraoperative frozen sections on grossly inconspicuous SLN may therefore be justified.
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ABSTRACT: Recommendations for intraoperative and postoperative breast sentinel lymph node (SLN) processing differ widely. Micrometastases and isolated tumor cells (ITC) have recently been proposed as prognostically and therapeutically relevant. We compared 3 SLN protocols with regard to intraoperative and postoperative diagnosis. SLN in cohort I (270 patients) were intraoperatively assessed by stereomicroscopy. Intraoperative frozen section (IFS) was used only in stereomicroscopically suspicious SLN. In cohort II (197 patients), all SLN were examined with only 1 IFS. Final SLN workup in cohorts I and II consisted of complete step sectioning with immunohistochemistry. In cohort III (268 patients) 2 or more IFS were performed followed by 3 step sections and immunohistochemistry. pN1 stages were significantly higher in cohorts I and II (33.3% and 34.0% respectively) than in cohort III (24.6%). Intraoperative false negativity for the detection of metastases (pN1) ranged from 54.4% (cohort I) and 35.8% (cohort II) to 21.2% (cohort III). In contrast, ITC were detected significantly more frequently in cohort I (9.3%) and cohort II (14.7%) than in cohort III (1.9%). Higher rates of SLN metastases and ITC in cohort I/II compared to cohort III suggest that IFS may result in tissue loss thus increasing the risk of missing metastases. Sparse IFS but complete postoperative SLN workup with step sectioning and immunohistochemistry provides more accurate information regarding minimal disease in SLN, but often results in delayed axillary lymph node dissection. This is important for preoperative patient information and recommendations in SLN processing protocols.Annals of Surgical Oncology 05/2010; 17(11):2892-8. DOI:10.1245/s10434-010-1097-x · 3.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Intra-operative frozen section analysis (FS analysis) of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in patients with breast cancer can prevent a second operation for axillary lymph node dissection. In contrast, loss of tissue during FS analysis may impair the probability to detect lymph node metastases. To determine the effect of tissue loss on the probability of detection of metastases, dimensions and tissue loss resulting from intra-operative frozen section analysis were measured for 21 SLNs. In a mathematical model, the influence of tissue loss on the probability to detect metastases was calculated in relation to SLN size for various pathology protocols: an American, a widely used European, the extensive 'Milan' and the Dutch protocol. For median-sized SLN 11 × 8 × 5 mm (length × width × height), FS analysis led to a median loss of 680 μm (13.6%) of the height of the SLN. Irrespective of SLN size or used pathology protocol, the probability of detecting 2 mm metastases remained unchanged or even increased (0-12.8%). Moreover, the probability to detect 0.2 mm metastases increased for the majority of tested combinations of SLN size, tissue loss and used protocol. Only when combining maximum tissue loss and smallest SLN size in the Dutch protocol, or when applying the extensive Milan protocol on a median-sized SLN, the probability to detect 0.2 mm metastases decreased by 2.7% and 14.3%, respectively. Contrary to 'common knowledge', doing FS analysis of SLNs does not impair the probability to detect lymph node metastases.Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 11/2011; 460(1):69-76. DOI:10.1007/s00428-011-1171-1 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One-step nucleic acid amplification (OSNA, Sysmex, Kobe, Japan) offers an excellent opportunity for accurate exhaustive sentinel lymph node (SLN) examination in breast cancer patients. Calibrated with conventional postoperative histology, this molecular technique yields comparable results intraoperatively, expressed as micrometastasis, macrometastasis or no metastasis depending on the CK19 mRNA copy number amplified in SLN lysates. We applied OSNA to detect metastasis in 810 SLNs from 367 patients with early stage breast cancer. We compared the rate of OSNA-positive SLNs in patients with invasive breast cancer (< 2 cm) versus the rate observed in a historical cohort using conventional histological examination of SLNs. No significant difference was observed, the OSNA assay was positive in 24.4% of patients, compared with positive histology in 24.8% in the historical cohort if including patients with isolated tumour cell (ITC) and in 23.4% excluding them. Opportunities for optimised patient management using OSNA are discussed: intraoperative detection of OSNA-positive SLNs enables axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) during the same procedure; standard OSNA techniques enable the establishment of homogeneous groups based on examination of whole SLNs for valid comparisons between different centres.Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 01/2012; 131(2):509-16. DOI:10.1007/s10549-011-1808-4 · 4.20 Impact Factor