Sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy for malignant melanoma at a rural-based university medical center.

Stephen P. Povoski, Umar H. Choudry, Emilia L. Dauway, Christopher H. Rassekh, Barbara S. Ducatman

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1 Scopus citations


Sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy (SLNMB) is a standard of practice in the management of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM). Since there were no published articles reviewing the experience of a single-institution, rural-based university medial center, we compiled our results from the patients we treated from Nov. 11, 1998 to May 23, 2001. A total of 54 caucasian patients (35 males, 19 females) of a median age of 60 years (range 2-84) were surgically treated, including 29 cases on the extremities, 16 trunk cases, and nine of the head/neck. Median Breslow thickness was 1.50 mm (range 0.23-12.0). Median Clark's level was 4 (range 2-5). Forty-seven patients underwent sentinel lymph node (SLN) injection and preoperative lymphoscintigraphy. Preoperative lymphoscintigraphy revealed radiocolloid uptake in 53 regional lymph node basins (RLNB), including two separate RLNB in four patients and three separate RLNB in one patient. Intraoperatively, SLN localization of radiocolloid was shown in 53 RLNB and SLN localization of blue dye was demonstrated in 38 RLNB. SLNs were positive in six of 52 (11.5%) RLNB biopsied and six of 46 (13.0%) patients. Our initial experience with SLNMB was encouraging and holds promise for rural-based practices by sparing added morbidity and inconvenience of more extensive surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-197
Number of pages4
JournalThe West Virginia medical journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


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