ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess whether sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) that undergo targeted needle biopsy after identification by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) using intradermally injected microbubbles results in more node-positive breast cancer patients being diagnosed preoperatively. Furthermore, we sought to determine whether the addition of CEUS to gray-scale sonography of the axilla reduces the number of patients having axillary lymph node (ALN) dissection as a second procedure.
Intradermal microbubble injection was performed in 136 breast cancer patients who had no abnormal ALNs on routine gray-scale axillary sonography. When an enhancing ALN was visualized, percutaneous sonography-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology or core needle biopsy was performed. Depending on the biopsy results, patients underwent SLN biopsy or ALN dissection. If the putative SLN biopsy was positive or a biopsy tract was seen in the excised SLN, the procedure was defined as successful.
SLNs were identified and biopsied in 126 of the 136 cases (93%). Seventeen patients had positive sonography-guided biopsy results (13%) and were treated with immediate ALN dissection. In seven patients, the biopsied node was the only positive node. The remaining 109 patients underwent SLN biopsy. In nine cases (8%), a positive lymph node was identified. Four of these false-negative cases had only micrometastases.
SLNs can be identified and biopsied using CEUS to increase the accuracy of preoperative axillary staging. If the needle biopsy result is negative, conventional SLN biopsy is indicated.
American Journal of Roentgenology 08/2012; 199(2):465-70. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To investigate the feasibility of percutaneous removal of the entire sentinel lymph node (SLN) in an animal model using a breast lesion excision system after identifying these nodes using contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and intradermal microbubbles.
Animal studies approval was obtained. SLNs were identified using CEUS and intradermal injection of microbubbles in two young pigs. Microbubbles were mixed with blue dye and injected around the mammary papillae to access lymphatic drainage to the superficial inguinal lymph nodes. When enhancing nodes were identified, the breast lesion excision system (BLES) was used to remove these nodes percutaneously. Both animals then underwent surgical lymph node dissection. Histopathological examination of all the samples was performed.
Removal of the entire SLN was successful in three groins in the pigs. All three nodes were stained with blue dye. No other stained nodes were observed in the node dissection specimens. The nodal architecture of removed lymph nodes was well preserved on microscopy. There were no signs of excess trauma within the biopsy bed.
The results obtained from the swine model demonstrated that it is feasible to remove the entire SLN percutaneously under the guidance of CEUS and microbubbles. KEY POINTS : • Intradermal injection of microbubbles and CEUS can identify sentinel lymph nodes • Ultrasound could then guide percutaneous removal of intact and complete SLNs • We have shown this was feasible in pigs but not yet in humans • This technique may eventually have the potential to reduce futile SLN biopsies.
European Radiology 03/2012; 22(3):545-50. · 3.22 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is the standard procedure for axillary staging in early breast cancer. Lymphatic imaging after peritumoral microbubble injection has been described in animal models. The aim of this study was to identify and localize SLNs preoperatively by contrast-enhanced sonography after intradermal injection of microbubbles in patients with breast cancer.
Eighty consecutive consenting patients with primary breast cancer were recruited. Patients received a periareolar intradermal injection of microbubble contrast agent. Breast lymphatics were visualized by sonography and followed to the axilla to identify SLNs. A guidewire was deployed to localize the SLN. The next day, patients underwent standard tumor excision and SLN biopsy.
In 71 (89%) of the 80 patients, SLNs were identified and guidewires were inserted. In these patients, operative findings using conventional radioisotope and blue dye techniques confirmed that the wired nodes were SLNs. Fourteen patients were found to have metastases in SLNs. In these patients, the SLNs were identified correctly and were localized with guidewires before surgery.
SLNs may be identified and localized before surgery using contrast-enhanced sonography after injection of microbubbles.
American Journal of Roentgenology 02/2011; 196(2):251-6. · 2.78 Impact Factor