Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 3–5 | Cite as

Reducing the Need for Sentinel Node Procedures by Ultrasound Examination of Regional Lymph Nodes

  • Alexander M. M. Eggermont

In this issue of Annals of Surgical Oncology, Starritt et al.1 present their experience with ultrasound (US) examination of sentinel nodes (SNs) in the initial assessment of patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. In 304 patients, histopathology of the SN revealed metastatic disease in 33 node fields in 31 patients. Only 7 of 33 node fields had been also identified by US. Metastatic deposits <4.5 mm had not been identified by US. The authors concluded that because most metastatic deposits in SNs are smaller, US is not cost-effective in this setting. The authors suggest, on the basis not of their own findings, but of the results of a study by Garbe et al.2(which demonstrated that the ability of US to detect melanoma recurrence in lymph nodes during follow-up was greatest in stage IIb patients), that in this subset of patients with more aggressive melanomas, US of the SN in the primary assessment is likely to be positive more often and should therefore be considered. This is mixed...


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Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyErasmus University Medical Center–Daniel den Hoed Cancer CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands

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