Value of frozen-section analysis of sentinel lymph nodes for primary cutaneous malignant melanoma.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze a large, single-institution experience with routine frozen section (FS) of the sentinel lymph node (SLN) in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Controversy exists over the utility of intraoperative FS analysis of the SLN in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. METHODS: All patients with clinically node-negative cutaneous melanoma undergoing SLN biopsy from 1991 to 1999 were identified from a prospective database. All SLNs were examined by FS. Step-sectioning and immunohistochemistry of permanent section were performed for SLNs negative by FS. RESULTS: At least one SLN was identified in 98% (360/368) of patients. There were 74 (20%) SLNs positive on permanent section; FS was positive in 59% of these. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of FS were 92%, 59%, and 100%. Because isolated recurrence developed in six patients in the nodal basin in which the SLN was negative, the failure rate was 1.7%. The false-negative rate for SLN biopsy was 7.5%. CONCLUSIONS: Because the prevalence of metastases within the SLN and sensitivity of FS analysis are low, routine use of FS for all patients undergoing SLN biopsy is not recommended.
Stojadinovic, A; Allen, PJ; Clary, BM; Busam, KJ; Coit, DG
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)