Use of the sentinel lymph node to determine metastases of gastrointestinal malignancies: A word of caution

Philip L. Chin, Jeffrey Medeiros, Roderich E. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Identifying the sentinel lymph node has been shown to carry prognostic and therapeutic implications in the surgical treatment of solid tumors. Recently, sentinel lymphadenectomy has been described for gastrointestinal malignancies, but its clinical value remains uncertain. We describe the case of a patient with appendiceal carcinoid who underwent a right hemicolectomy 4 months after appendectomy, out of concern over residual local or regional disease. One sentinel lymph node was identified in the colonic mesentery using the blue dye technique. This sentinel node and 35 others were negative for metastases, but one lymph node not identified through blue dye carried evidence for micrometastatic disease on hematoxylin and eosin (HandE) and immunohistochemical chromogranin stains. The case raises some issues about the value and limitations of sentinel lymph node biopsies in gastrointestinal cancer. Aspects related to technique, learning curve, gastrointestinal lymphatic drainage patterns, the impact of prior operations, and the limited therapeutic implications compared to cutaneous or subcutaneous solid malignancies are discussed. We conclude that at this point in time, the information obtained from biopsies of sentinel lymph nodes during the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal cancer should be utilized with due caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Fingerprint

Neoplasm Metastasis
Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Coloring Agents
Neoplasms
Chromogranins
Appendectomy
Mesentery
Learning Curve
Carcinoid Tumor
Therapeutics
Hematoxylin
Eosine Yellowish-(YS)
Lymph Node Excision
Drainage
Lymph Nodes
Skin
Sentinel Lymph Node
cyhalothrin

Keywords

  • Carcinoid
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Sentinel lymph node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

Cite this

Use of the sentinel lymph node to determine metastases of gastrointestinal malignancies : A word of caution. / Chin, Philip L.; Medeiros, Jeffrey; Schwarz, Roderich E.

In: Journal of Surgical Oncology, Vol. 71, No. 4, 1999, p. 239-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chin, Philip L. ; Medeiros, Jeffrey ; Schwarz, Roderich E. / Use of the sentinel lymph node to determine metastases of gastrointestinal malignancies : A word of caution. In: Journal of Surgical Oncology. 1999 ; Vol. 71, No. 4. pp. 239-242.
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