Detection of sentinel lymph nodes in patients with papillary thyroid cancer

Hiroshi Takami, Kazuyoshi Sasaki, Yoshifumi Ikeda, Gengo Tajima, Kaori Kameyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of sentinel lymph node biopsy as a means of evaluating the cervical lymph nodes of patients with papillary thyroid cancer. METHODS: Isosulfan blue dye was injected around the tumour of 68 patients with papillary thyroid cancer; sentinel lymph node biopsy was performed in addition to subtotal thyroidectomy and central and modified lateral neck lymph node dissections. Surgical specimens were examined by routine processing to determine whether metastasis was present. RESULTS: Sentinel lymph nodes were identified in 63 (92.6%) of the 68 patients. There was concordance between the sentinel lymph node status and the final regional lymph node status in 58 (92.1%) of the 63 patients. There were five false-negative cases. Sentinel lymph node biopsy had a sensitivity of 87.5% (35/40), specificity of 100% (23/23), positive predictive value of 100% (30/35), negative predictive value of 82.1% (23/28), and accuracy of 92.1% (58/63). CONCLUSIONS: Sentinel lymph node biopsy may allow discrimination between patients with true lymph-node-negative papillary thyroid carcinoma and those with non-palpable metastatic lymph nodes. It may also be helpful in diagnosing metastases and avoiding unnecessary lymph node dissection in thyroid cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
JournalAsian Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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