Interval sentinel lymph nodes in patients with cutaneous melanoma: A single-institution study in Japan

Department of Dermatology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Japan.
The Journal of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 2.25). 07/2010; 37(7):629-34. DOI: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2010.00856.x
Source: PubMed


Interval sentinel lymph nodes (ISLN) are defined as the lymph nodes located between the primary melanoma and anatomically well-defined lymph nodal basins. It was reported that the ISLN appeared to be at the same metastatic risk as sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) in the traditional nodal basins. This study aimed to examine the incidence and metastatic risk of the ISLN in melanoma patients. Between June of 1999 and December of 2008, 117 patients enrolled at Nagoya University Hospital underwent SLN biopsy for primary cutaneous melanoma with a Breslow thickness of at least 1.0 mm. Triple techniques with lymphoscintigraphy, blue dye injection and gamma probe were used for the biopsy except for 13 cases that underwent lymphoscintigraphy, ultrasonography and blue dye injection, but without gamma probe. Patients who had melanoma of the head and neck were excluded from this analysis. The SLN were identified in 253 nodal basins from 117 patients, and ISLN were found in six patients (5%). We recognized 41 (17%) SLN metastases in 246 conventional nodal basins and one (14%) in seven ISLN. Although ISLN were identified infrequently, the incidence of metastasis into the ISLN was similar to that into SLN in conventional nodal basins. It is therefore recommended that preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperative recognition of ISLN should be performed.

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    • "The incidence of metastatic intransit nodes was between 14% and 22% [5] [21]. Interval nodes were more common in melanoma of the trunk than in those of the lower limbs [5] [21]. Although this interval nodes positivity is uncommon, the literature has showed that in more than 85% of cases reported with a metastatic disease in the interval node, this is often the only site of nodal metastasis [5] [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Recent studies have demonstrated that there exists a great variation in the lymphatic drainage in patients with malignant melanoma. Some patients have drainage to lymph nodes outside of conventional nodal basins. The lymph nodes that exist between a primary melanoma and its regional nodal basin are defined "interval nodes". Interval node occurs in a small minority of patients with forearm melanoma. We report our experience of the Melanoma Unit of University Hospital Spedali Civili Brescia, Italy. Methods. Lymphatic mapping using cutaneous lymphoscintigraphy (LS) has become a standard preoperative diagnostic procedure to locate the sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in cutaneous melanoma. We used LS to identify sentinel lymph nodes biopsy (SLNB) in 480 patients. Results. From over 2100 patients affected by cutaneous melanoma, we identified 2 interval nodes in 480 patients with SLNB . The melanomas were both located in the left forearm. The interval nodes were also both located in the left arm. Conclusion. The combination of preoperative LS and intraoperative hand-held gamma detecting probe plays a remarkable role in identifying these uncommon lymph node locations. Knowledge of the unusual drainage patterns will help to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of sentinel nodes identification.
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