Author(s): Tartaglione G, Potenza C, Caggiati A, Gabrielli F, Russo A,
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Abstract PURPOSE: Is to evaluate the role of the sentinel node (SN) radiolocalisation and its prognostic value in state T2N0M0 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the lip. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between November 1999 and June 2002 we enrolled 11 consecutive patients (8m,3f) affected with lower lip SCC (7 pts.), labio-commissure (3 pts.) and upper lip (1 pt). Lymphoscintigraphy was performed three hours before surgery. After topical anaesthesia (Lidocaine spray 10\%), 30-50MBq of Nanocoll-Tc99m diluted in a 0.3 ml physiological solution was injected intradermally, divided into two peri-lesional points. Planar static acquisition began immediately after the injection in order to visual lymph drainage pathways (lateral and/or anterior view, 512x512 matrix, 5 min. pre set time, LEGP collimator). All patients underwent only selective lymph adenectomy of the SN. RESULTS: SN were visible in all patients within 5 minutes after the injection. In all patients the SNs were observed in the submandibular area (I neck level) in three patients a second SN was localized in latero cervical area (II neck level). All patients were staged SN negative. The average disease free interval for patients who underwent a selective lymph adenectomy of the SN was 20 months with continuing follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: We must stress the importance of performing an immediate exploratory dynamic or static scintigraphy within the first minutes of the radio tracer injection, in order to acquire a precise SN localisation and an accurate mapping of the tumour lymphatic pathways. SN radio localisation is especially beneficial in T2N0 stage patients where immediate lymphadenectomy is not necessary. It also saves time and cuts costs, which are specific goals in the current climate of health service management. Although our results are encouraging, a larger data base from multi centre trials with a five year follow-up would confirm the validity of our approach.
This article was published in Radiol Med
and referenced in Journal of Orthopedic Oncology