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Thứ Ba, 12 tháng 6, 2012



The aim of this study was to see how effective ultrasound-guided needle biopsy was at detecting lymph node involvement in patients with early breast cancer. Patients with newly diagnosed invasive breast cancer underwent axillary ultrasound (US) where lymph node size and morphology were noted. A core biopsy (CB) was undertaken of any node greater than 5 mm in longitudinal section. Patients with benign CBs proceeded to sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy, whereas those with malignancy underwent axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). US and CB findings were correlated with final surgical histology in all cases.

One hundred and thirty-nine patients were examined, of whom 52.5% had lymph node metastases on final histology. One hundred and twenty-one patients (87%) underwent axillary node CB. The overall sensitivity of CB for detecting lymph node metastases was 53.4% (60.3% for macrometastases; 26.7% for micrometastases). The US morphological characteristics most
strongly associated with malignancy were absence of a hilum and a cortical thickness greater than 4 mm. However, one third of patients with normal lymph node morphology had nodal metastases, and only 12% of these were diagnosed on CB. CB of axillary lymph nodes can diagnose a substantial number of patients with lymph node metastases, allowing these patients to proceed directly to ALND, avoiding unnecessary SLN biopsy.


Breast cancer . Axillary staging . Percutaneous biopsy . Histology . Ultrasound

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