Basic & Clinical Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (6): 693-696.

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The analysis of factors on the number of sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer patients


  • Received:2012-04-13 Revised:2012-04-25 Online:2012-06-05 Published:2012-05-25

Abstract: Abstract:Objective To analysis the factors on the number of sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) in breast cancer patients and explore the appropriate cut-off value for SLNs. Methods Between January 2007 and December 2011, 578 cases of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) profiles were gathered retrospectively. The logistic regression model was used to evaluate the relationship between number of SLNs and clinical-pathological characteristics. Results The study group was consisted of 578 female patients with an average of 49.9 years in age (range 21 to 90). 2222 SLNs were resected in total by surgeon. The mean number of sentinel lymph nodes removed was 3.8 (range 1 to 15). Sentinel lymph nodes involved in metastasis were found in 17.8% of patients. There was no difference in the number of SLNs between the SLN-positive and the SLN-negative. In univariate analysis, variables associated with sentinel lymph nodes number were operation type, tracer technique and BMI (P<0.05 for all variables). In multivariate analysis, variables associated with number of sentinel lymph nodes were simple mastectomy, dual tracer technique and BMI≤30 (P<0.05). All the SLN-positive were screened out when the cut-off value was set to no more than 5 SLNs. Meanwhile, 18.7% of patients need no further lymph node dissection and 298 lymph nodes were spared. Conclusion The patients with the dual tracer technique, BMI≤30 or simple mastectomy are prone to harvest more sentinel lymph nodes. It is appropriate for surgeons to set cut-off value to 5 sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer.

Key words: breast neoplasms, sentinel lymph node biopsy, number of sentinel lymph node, nuclear medicine