EANM-EORTC general recommendations for sentinel node diagnostics in melanoma


The accurate diagnosis of a sentinel node in melanoma includes a sequence of procedures from different medical specialities (nuclear medicine, surgery, oncology, and pathology). The items covered are presented in 11 sections and a reference list: (1) definition of a sentinel node, (2) clinical indications, (3) radiopharmaceuticals and activity injected, (4) dosimetry, (5) injection technique, (6) image acquisition and interpretation, (7) report and display, (8) use of dye, (9) gamma probe detection, (10) surgical techniques in sentinel node biopsy, and (11) pathological evaluation of melanoma-draining sentinel lymph nodes. If specific recommendations given cannot be based on evidence from original, scientific studies, referral is given to “general consensus” and similar expressions. The recommendations are designed to assist in the practice of referral to, performance, interpretation and reporting of all steps of the sentinel node procedure in the hope of setting state-of-the-art standards for good-quality evaluation of possible spread to the lymphatic system in intermediate-to-high risk melanoma without clinical signs of dissemination.

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Fig. 6



American Joint Committee on Cancer


Completion regional lymph node dissection


Computed tomography


European Association of Nuclear Medicine


European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer


Fine needle aspiration biopsy




Human serum albumin


International Committee of Radiation Protection


Melanocytic lesion of uncertain malignant potential


Non-sentinel lymph node


Picture Archiving and Communication System


Quality assurance


Quality control


Reticulo-endothelial system


Reverse trascriptase polymerase chain reaction


Sentinel lymph node


Sentinel lymph node biopsy


Single photon emission computed tomography




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Correspondence to Annette H. Chakera.

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Chakera and Hesse 50% divided first authorship

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Chakera, A.H., Hesse, B., Burak, Z. et al. EANM-EORTC general recommendations for sentinel node diagnostics in melanoma. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 36, 1713–1742 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00259-009-1228-4

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  • Blue dye
  • Gamma probe
  • Lymphoscintigraphy
  • Melanoma
  • Pathology
  • Sentinel node