Pretreatment Tattoo Marking of Suspicious Axillary Lymph Nodes: Reliability and Correlation with Sentinel Lymph Node. Annals of surgical oncology Patel, R., MacKerricher, W., Tsai, J., Choy, N., Lipson, J., Ikeda, D., Pal, S., De Martini, W., Allison, K. H., Wapnir, I. L. 2019


BACKGROUND: Tattooing is an alternative method for marking biopsied axillary lymph nodes (ALNs) before initiation of treatments for newly diagnosed breast cancer. Detection of black ink-stained nodes is performed under direct visualization at surgery and is combined with sentinel node (SLN) mapping procedures.METHODS: Women with newly diagnosed breast cancer who underwent fine or core-needle biopsy of suspicious ALNs were recruited. The nodal cortex and perinodal soft tissue was injected with 0.1-1.0ml of Spot (GI Supply) black ink under ultrasound guidance. Intraoperatively, black stained nodes were removed along with SLNs, noting concordance between the two.RESULTS: Sixty-six evaluable patients were enrolled (2013-2017). Nineteen received surgery first (Group 1) and 47 neoadjuvant therapy (NAT, Group 2). The average number of nodes tattooed was 1.16 for Group 1 and 1.04 for Group 2. The average interval from tattoo to surgery was 21days (range 1-62) for Group 1 and 148days (range 71-257) for Group 2. The tattooed node(s) were visually identified at surgery and corresponded to the sentinel lymph node(s) in 98.5% of cases (18/19 in Group 1 and 47/47 in Group 2). Of the 14 patients in Group 2 whose nodes remained positive following NAT, the tattooed node was the SLN associated with carcinoma.CONCLUSIONS: Tattooing is an alternative method for marking biopsied ALNs. Tattooed nodes coincided with SLNs in 98.5% of cases. This technique is advantageous, because it allows for fewer procedures and lower costs compared with other methods.

View details for PubMedID 31087176