Vol 24, No 2 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-07-30

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Sentinel lymph node biopsy in upper tract urothelial cancers: an experience with intraoperative radiotracer injection

Leili Zarifmahmoudi1, Hamidreza Ghorbani2, Ramin Sadeghi1, Salman Soltani2, Kayvan Sadri1, Mahmoud Tavakkoli2, Maliheh Keshvari2
Pubmed: 34382666
Nucl. Med. Rev 2021;24(2):41-45.


Background: The feasibility of the sentinel node mapping in upper tract urothelial cancers (UTUC) was evaluated, using a radiotracer as the mapping material.

Material and methods: To identify the sentinel lymph nodes, 37 MBq of [99mTc] phytate was injected in five patients with the renal pelvis or ureter cancer, who were candidates for ureterectomy and lymphadenectomy. The radiotracer was injected in a peritumoral fashion following the surgical exposure of the tumour. The sentinel lymph nodes were detected using a handheld gamma probe.

Results: By intraoperatively injecting the radiotracer immediately after surgical exposure of the tumour, at least one sentinel lymph node could be detected in each patient, and the detection rate was 100%. The location of sentinel nodes was in the paracaval, renal hill, retro-aortic, para-aortic, common iliac, and external iliac areas, which was dependent on the tumour location.

No false-negative case was identified.

Conclusions: Sentinel node mapping is feasible in UTUC. Injection technique (intra-vesical approach vs peri-tumoral injection after exposure of the tumour) and location of the tumour (proximal vs distal) may affect the technique’s feasibility.

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