Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialties Vol. 66, No. 2, April-June, 2011, pp 41-44

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Using Methylene Blue Dye – The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Experience

Author(s): Stephen Sixto Siguan, M.D., F.P.C.S.; Ervin T. Castillo, M.D.; Herbert C. Tagab, M.D., F.P.C.S and Saleshe Tracy Anne G. Baking, M.D.

Objective: To determine the accuracy of SLNB using methylene blue dye.

Breast cancer patients consulting at the VSMMC Breast Center with biopsy proven adenocarcinoma of the breast, a Tis, T1, T2 or T3 primary breast tumor and clinically negative ipsilateral axilla by palpation and ultrasound, were included in the study. The subjects underwent either modified radical mastectomy or breast conservation therapy. Subareolar injection of 5 ml 1% methylene blue dye 5 minutes prior to sentinel lymph node biopsy. Three blue staining axillary lymph nodes were taken and sent to pathology for frozen section evaluation and after surgery, H & E staining. A completion axillary lymph node dissection was done in all patients. Accuracy of SLNB using methylene blue was calculated using final histopathology results as gold standard.

Twenty patients were included in this study. SLNB in this group had an accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of 95.0%, 83.3%, 100%, 100%, and 93.3%, respectively. The false negative rate is 6.7%. On the average, the SLNs were identified in 14 minutes.

Sentinel lymph node dissection with methylene blue has an accuracy of 95% in the VSMMC Breast Center.

Key words: sentinel lymph node biopsy, methylene blue dye, breast cancer