Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 1329–1339 | Cite as

Repeat Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Ipsilateral Breast Tumor Recurrence: A Systematic Review of the Results and Impact on Prognosis

  • Ingrid G. M. Poodt
  • Guusje Vugts
  • Robert-Jan Schipper
  • Grard A. P. Nieuwenhuijzen
Breast Oncology



During recent years, an increasing number of patients with ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) and previous axillary surgery have undergone repeat sentinel lymph node biopsy (rSLNB). The influence of axillary nodal status on prognosis for IBTR patients remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the technical success rate, follow-up assessment, and prognostic value of rSLNB for patients with IBTR.


A systematic search conducted in MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library up to July 2017 included all studies on rSLNB in IBTR.


A total of 34 articles describing 1761 patients were identified. A repeat sentinel lymph node (rSLN) was successfully harvested from 64.3% of the patients with IBTR, and the rate was significantly higher for the patients who had a previous SLNB than for those who had a previous axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) (75.7% vs. 46.1%; P < 0.0001). The rSLN was tumor-positive for 18.2% of the rSLNs, 40% of which were harvested in basins other than the ipsilateral axilla. The negative predictive value of the rSLNB was 96.5%. Overall survival, reported for 21.5% of the patients, was 95.2% after a mean follow-up period of 29.6 months.


The prognostic impact of rSLN-positive versus rSLN-negative IBTR remains unclear. Further studies are needed to fill in the gap in the management of lymph nodes for patients with IBTR. However, based on the current evidence, rSLNB is feasible for 64% of patients, especially after previous SLNB. With a negative predictive value of 96.5%, rSLNB appears to be highly specific, with substantial advantages over ipsilateral ALND in IBTR.



The research conducted for this study complies with the current laws of The Netherlands.


There are no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10434_2018_6358_MOESM1_ESM.docx (385 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 385 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryCatharina Hospital EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands

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