Indocyanine green fluorescence imaging with lymphoscintigraphy for sentinel node biopsy in head and neck melanoma.
BACKGROUND: Head and neck melanoma is associated with a high false negative (FN) sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) rate. If techniques are developed that can decrease FN SLNBs, better prognostic information will be obtained, and it may be possible to improve overall survival as patients are assigned to the appropriate adjuvant management. Our group previously demonstrated that the combination of lymphoscintigraphy and indocyanine green (ICG) fluorescence-based technology was feasible for SLNB in primary melanoma. METHODS: Consecutive head and neck cutaneous melanoma patients who underwent radioisotope lymphoscintigraphy and ICG-based fluorescence imaging by the senior author (B.G.) from 2012 to 2015 were prospectively enrolled for analysis. Patients were followed postoperatively by the multidisciplinary melanoma team. Main outcome variables were FN rate of SLNB. Length of follow-up was date of surgery to the date of last follow-up/death. RESULTS: There were 10 positive SLNBs, 51 true negative SLNBs, and one FN SLNB. False negative rate was 9.1%, false negative incidence was 1.6%, sensitivity was 91%, and specificity was 100%. Mean follow-up was 27.6, 17.6, and 16.5 mo for true negative, true positive, and FN patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We report the largest cohort of patients with head and neck cutaneous melanoma undergoing SLNB using both a combination of radioactive tracer, gamma probe, and ICG-based fluorescence identification. Our results demonstrate that using concomitant gamma probe-based radioactivity detection and ICG-based fluorescence for SLN identification in head and neck melanoma is reliable, reproducible and, thus far, has produced a low rate of FN SLNB.
Knackstedt, RW; Couto, RA; Gastman, B
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