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Imaging of lymph nodes in patients with cancer

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:40 GMT

Author: Peter Ell
Position: Director, Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University College London
Institution: Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University College London
Submitted Date: February 28, 2005
Published Date: February 28, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

The authors are to be congratulated for their innovative approach to the imaging of lymph nodes in patients with cancer. A few comments are however pertinent:

The authors subtly introduce the concept of sentinel lymph node detection in their discussion. However this is clearly misleading. A sentinel lymph node is any node which directly receives lymph drainage from the primary tumour. The authors methodology does not meet the criteria for the detection of sentinel lymph nodes/s (usually very few, and most often less than 2). It is also somewhat misleading to declare that LMRI may play a significant role in avoiding unnecessary surgeries, that is, those in node positive patients. Precisely the opposite is the case, at least as far as managing breast cancer is concerned, where the now established sentinel lymph node biopsy technique (and we do not need yet another method for this)is specially useful in selecting those sentinel node negative patients who do not require axillary lymph node dissection.

No competing interests declared.