The Additional Value of Lymphatic Mapping with Routine SPECT/CT in Unselected Patients with Clinically Localized Melanoma
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To investigate whether single photon emission computed tomography camera with integrated radiographic computed tomography (SPECT/CT) is of additional value compared to conventional lymphoscintigraphy in routine lymphatic mapping in patients with melanoma.
Thirty-five unselected patients with a primary melanoma who were scheduled for wide local excision and sentinel node biopsy underwent conventional lymphoscintigraphy and subsequently SPECT/CT. We determined whether SPECT/CT showed additional sentinel nodes, whether it provided better information on the location of the sentinel nodes, and whether this additional anatomic information led to a change in the planned surgical approach.
SPECT/CT depicted the same 69 sentinel nodes as conventional lymphoscintigraphy in all 35 patients plus found eight additional sentinel nodes in seven patients (20%). In two of these patients (5.7%), an additional nodal basin had to be explored to find the extra sentinel nodes. SPECT/CT provided additional anatomic information that was helpful to the surgeon in 11 patients (31%) and led to an adjustment of the surgical approach in 10 patients (29%).
SPECT/CT provided relevant additional information in 16 (46%) of the 35 patients. Routine use of SPECT/CT in addition to conventional lymphoscintigraphy is recommended in melanoma patients undergoing lymphatic mapping.
KeywordsMelanoma Sentinel Node Sentinel Node Biopsy Melanoma Patient Primary Melanoma
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