Preoperative Ultrasound is Not Useful for Identifying Nodal Metastasis in Melanoma Patients Undergoing Sentinel Node Biopsy: Preoperative Ultrasound in Clinically Node-Negative Melanoma
- 193 Downloads
Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is widely used in melanoma. Identifying nodal involvement preoperatively by high-resolution ultrasound may offer less invasive staging. This study assessed feasibility and staging results of clinically targeted ultrasound (before lymphoscintigraphy) compared to SLNB.
From 2005 to 2009, a total of 325 patients with melanoma underwent ultrasound before SLNB. We reviewed demographics and histopathologic characteristics, then compared ultrasound and SLNB results. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value were determined.
A total of 325 patients were included, 58% men and 42% women with a median age of 58 (range 18–86) years. A total of 471 basins were examined with ultrasound. Only six patients (1.8%) avoided SLNB by undergoing ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of involved nodes, then therapeutic lymphadenectomy. Sixty-five patients (20.4%) had 69 SLNB positive nodal basins; 17 nodal basins from 15 patients with positive ultrasounds were considered truly positive. Forty-five SLNB positive basins had negative ultrasounds (falsely negative). Seven node-positive basins did not undergo ultrasound because of unpredicted drainage. A total of 253 patients with negative SLNBs had negative ultrasounds in 240 nodal basins (truly negative) but falsely positive ultrasounds occurred in 40 basins. Overall, sensitivity of ultrasound was 33.8%, specificity 85.7%, positive predictive value 36.5%, and negative predictive value 84.2%. Sensitivity and specificity improved somewhat with increasing Breslow depth. Sensitivity was highest for the neck, but specificity was highest for the groin.
Routine preoperative ultrasound in clinically node-negative melanoma is impractical because of its low sensitivity. Selected patients with thick or ulcerated lesions may benefit. Because of variable lymphatic drainage patterns, preoperative ultrasound without lymphoscintigraphic localization will provide incomplete evaluation in many cases.
- 10.Blum A, Schlagenhauff B, Stroebel W, et al. Ultrasound examination of regional lymph nodes significantly improves early detection of locoregional metastases during the follow-up of patients with cutaneous melanoma: results of a prospective study of 1288 patients. Cancer. 2000;88:2534–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 17.Voit CA, van Akkooi AC, Schafer-Hesterberg G, et al. Rotterdam criteria for sentinel node (SN) tumor burden and the accuracy of ultrasound (US)-guided fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC): can US-guided FNAC replace SN staging in patients with melanoma? J Clin Oncol. 2009;27:4994–5000.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 37.van Akkooi AC, Nowecki ZI, Voit C, et al. Sentinel node tumor burden according to the Rotterdam criteria is the most important prognostic factor for survival in melanoma patients: a multicenter study in 388 patients with positive sentinel nodes. Ann Surg. 2008;248:949–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 41.Thompson JF, Haydu LE, Uren RF, et al. Preoperative ultrasound assessment of sentinel nodes in melanoma patients does not provide reliable staging: results from a large multicenter trial. Ann Surg Oncol. 2011;18: S21, 46.Google Scholar