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Intraoperative frozen section examination of axillary sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer

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Abstract:

Grabau DA, Rank F, Friis E. Intraoperative frozen section examination of axillary sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer. APMIS 2005;113:7–12.

The study presents the results from intraoperative frozen section assessment of axillary sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in breast cancer. Routine histological frozen sections from one level were used, two sections stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Immunohistochemistry for cytokeratins was applied to the permanent SLN paraffin sections only. Axillary dissection was performed on all SLN-positive cases regardless of the size of the metastatic deposits. With a detection rate of 83%, 272 patients entered the study over a period of 46 months. A total of 61 cases were SLN positive by frozen section analysis. The paraffin sections gave an additional 23 SLN-positive cases. The false-negative rate for frozen sections was then 27% (23/84). Micrometastases were found in 28 of 84 cases, and macrometastases in 56. The false-negative rate of frozen sections for micrometastases was 71% (20/28), and for macrometastases 5% (3/56). A total of 73% (61/84) of the patients underwent axillary surgery as a one-step procedure.

Keywords: Sentinel lymph node; breast cancer; frozen section

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2005.apm1130102.x

Affiliations: 1: Pathology and 2: Breast Surgery, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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