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01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Radiation Oncology 1/2019

Altered lymphatic drainage patterns in re-operative sentinel lymph node biopsy for ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence

Radiation Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Ayaka Sato, Takehiko Sakai, Takuji Iwase, Fumiko Kano, Kiyomi Kimura, Akiko Ogiya, Mitsuru Koizumi, Masahiko Tanabe, Rie Horii, Futoshi Akiyama, Takayuki Ueno, Shinji Ohno
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This study aimed to evaluate the impact of previous local treatment on lymphatic drainage patterns in ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) based on our data on re-operative sentinel lymph node biopsy (re-SLNB) for IBTR.


Between April 2005 and December 2016, re-SLNB using lymphoscintigraphy with Tc-99 m phytate was performed in 136 patients with cN0 IBTR. Patients were categorized into two groups: the AX group included 55 patients with previous axillary lymph node dissection; the non-AX group included 69 patients with previous SLNB and 12 patients with no axillary surgery. The whole breast irradiation (RT) after initial surgery had performed in 17 patients in the AX group and 27 patients in the non-AX group.


Lymphatic drainage was visualized in 80% of the AX group and 95% of the non-AX group (P < 0.01). The visualization rate of lymphatic drainage was associated with the number of removed lymph nodes in prior surgery. In the non-AX group, lymphatic drainage was visualized in 96% of patients without RT and 93% with RT. Lymphatic drainage was observed at the ipsilateral axilla in 98% of patients without RT and in 64% with RT (P < 0.0001). Aberrant drainage was significantly more common in patients with RT than without RT (60% vs. 19%, P < 0.001); it was observed mostly to the contralateral axilla (52% vs. 2%, P < 0.0001). In the AX group, patients with previous RT showed decreased lymphatic drainage to the ipsilateral axilla compared to those without RT (29% vs. 63%, P < 0.05) and increased aberrant drainage to the contralateral axilla (64% vs. 5%, P < 0.0001).


Lymphatic drainage patterns altered in re-SLNB in patients with IBTR and previous ALND and RT were associated with alterations in lymphatic drainage patterns.
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