A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Intraoperative Photography as a Quality Metric for Axillary Dissection

Brittany L. Murphy, Judy C Boughey, Amy C Degnim, Tina J Hieken, William S. Harmsen, Gary Keeney, James W Jakub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The adequacy of an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) is frequently assessed by the number of LNs pathologically identified. We hypothesized that intraoperative photographs facilitate objective measurement of the surgical quality of an ALND. Methods: Intraoperative photographs of the axilla were obtained prospectively following ALND by four surgeons. An objective scoring system was created based on the visibility of anatomic landmarks, with a maximum score of 7. Photographs of each case were scored independently by the other three surgeons. Factors thought to influence LN count were evaluated for correlation. Interrater variability was calculated. Results: A total of 115 cases were evaluated: 98 breast and 17 melanoma. Mean LN count was 25.1 (SD 10.5): 23.2 (SD 7.9) for breast and 36.5 (SD 15.8) for melanoma. Ninety percent of cases had a LN count ≥15. Factors associated with a higher number of LNs were melanoma (p <0.001), visualization of the axillary vein (p = 0.03), and long thoracic nerve (p = 0.04). There was no association with age, body mass index, number of positive LNs, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, or matted LNs. Mean ALND photograph score was 4.8 (SD 1.3). A 1-point change in total score increased the mean LN count by 2.4 (p = 0.002). Correlations for interrater reliability varied from 0.27 to 0.62. Conclusions: Photographic visualization of axillary anatomic structures correlates with the number of LNs identified on pathology. These findings support initiating a larger study with more surgeons to define the optimal photo metrics of an adequate ALND.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 19 2016

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Photography
Lymph Node Excision
Dissection
Melanoma
Breast
Axillary Vein
Thoracic Nerves
Anatomic Landmarks
Axilla
Body Mass Index
Pathology
Drug Therapy
Surgeons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

Cite this

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title = "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Intraoperative Photography as a Quality Metric for Axillary Dissection",
abstract = "Background: The adequacy of an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) is frequently assessed by the number of LNs pathologically identified. We hypothesized that intraoperative photographs facilitate objective measurement of the surgical quality of an ALND. Methods: Intraoperative photographs of the axilla were obtained prospectively following ALND by four surgeons. An objective scoring system was created based on the visibility of anatomic landmarks, with a maximum score of 7. Photographs of each case were scored independently by the other three surgeons. Factors thought to influence LN count were evaluated for correlation. Interrater variability was calculated. Results: A total of 115 cases were evaluated: 98 breast and 17 melanoma. Mean LN count was 25.1 (SD 10.5): 23.2 (SD 7.9) for breast and 36.5 (SD 15.8) for melanoma. Ninety percent of cases had a LN count ≥15. Factors associated with a higher number of LNs were melanoma (p <0.001), visualization of the axillary vein (p = 0.03), and long thoracic nerve (p = 0.04). There was no association with age, body mass index, number of positive LNs, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, or matted LNs. Mean ALND photograph score was 4.8 (SD 1.3). A 1-point change in total score increased the mean LN count by 2.4 (p = 0.002). Correlations for interrater reliability varied from 0.27 to 0.62. Conclusions: Photographic visualization of axillary anatomic structures correlates with the number of LNs identified on pathology. These findings support initiating a larger study with more surgeons to define the optimal photo metrics of an adequate ALND.",
author = "Murphy, {Brittany L.} and Boughey, {Judy C} and Degnim, {Amy C} and Hieken, {Tina J} and Harmsen, {William S.} and Gary Keeney and Jakub, {James W}",
year = "2016",
month = "5",
day = "19",
doi = "10.1245/s10434-016-5271-7",
language = "English (US)",
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journal = "Annals of Surgical Oncology",
issn = "1068-9265",
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T1 - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

T2 - Intraoperative Photography as a Quality Metric for Axillary Dissection

AU - Murphy, Brittany L.

AU - Boughey, Judy C

AU - Degnim, Amy C

AU - Hieken, Tina J

AU - Harmsen, William S.

AU - Keeney, Gary

AU - Jakub, James W

PY - 2016/5/19

Y1 - 2016/5/19

N2 - Background: The adequacy of an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) is frequently assessed by the number of LNs pathologically identified. We hypothesized that intraoperative photographs facilitate objective measurement of the surgical quality of an ALND. Methods: Intraoperative photographs of the axilla were obtained prospectively following ALND by four surgeons. An objective scoring system was created based on the visibility of anatomic landmarks, with a maximum score of 7. Photographs of each case were scored independently by the other three surgeons. Factors thought to influence LN count were evaluated for correlation. Interrater variability was calculated. Results: A total of 115 cases were evaluated: 98 breast and 17 melanoma. Mean LN count was 25.1 (SD 10.5): 23.2 (SD 7.9) for breast and 36.5 (SD 15.8) for melanoma. Ninety percent of cases had a LN count ≥15. Factors associated with a higher number of LNs were melanoma (p <0.001), visualization of the axillary vein (p = 0.03), and long thoracic nerve (p = 0.04). There was no association with age, body mass index, number of positive LNs, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, or matted LNs. Mean ALND photograph score was 4.8 (SD 1.3). A 1-point change in total score increased the mean LN count by 2.4 (p = 0.002). Correlations for interrater reliability varied from 0.27 to 0.62. Conclusions: Photographic visualization of axillary anatomic structures correlates with the number of LNs identified on pathology. These findings support initiating a larger study with more surgeons to define the optimal photo metrics of an adequate ALND.

AB - Background: The adequacy of an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) is frequently assessed by the number of LNs pathologically identified. We hypothesized that intraoperative photographs facilitate objective measurement of the surgical quality of an ALND. Methods: Intraoperative photographs of the axilla were obtained prospectively following ALND by four surgeons. An objective scoring system was created based on the visibility of anatomic landmarks, with a maximum score of 7. Photographs of each case were scored independently by the other three surgeons. Factors thought to influence LN count were evaluated for correlation. Interrater variability was calculated. Results: A total of 115 cases were evaluated: 98 breast and 17 melanoma. Mean LN count was 25.1 (SD 10.5): 23.2 (SD 7.9) for breast and 36.5 (SD 15.8) for melanoma. Ninety percent of cases had a LN count ≥15. Factors associated with a higher number of LNs were melanoma (p <0.001), visualization of the axillary vein (p = 0.03), and long thoracic nerve (p = 0.04). There was no association with age, body mass index, number of positive LNs, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, or matted LNs. Mean ALND photograph score was 4.8 (SD 1.3). A 1-point change in total score increased the mean LN count by 2.4 (p = 0.002). Correlations for interrater reliability varied from 0.27 to 0.62. Conclusions: Photographic visualization of axillary anatomic structures correlates with the number of LNs identified on pathology. These findings support initiating a larger study with more surgeons to define the optimal photo metrics of an adequate ALND.

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