A prospective study of false-positive diagnosis of micrometastatic cells in the sentinel lymph nodes in colorectal cancer

D. Wiese, S. Saha, B. Yestrepsky, A. Korant, Saad Kenderian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Sentinel lymph node mapping (SLNM) with multilevel sections (MLS) and cytokeratin immunohistochemistry (CK-IHC) of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) upstages 15-20% of patients (pts). False-positive SLNs occur in breast cancer due to mechanical transport of cells during mapping procedures, or to pre-existing benign cellular inclusions. Our prospective study evaluated whether colorectal mapping procedures alone caused false positives. Methods: A total of 314 pts underwent SLNM with blue dye. Ninety of the pts underwent a second mapping in normal bowel away from the primary tumor. The first 1-5 blue nodes near the primary tumor were marked as SLNs; those near the second injection site were marked as nontumor SLNs (nt-SLNs). All SLNs and nt-SLNs were evaluated by MLS and CK-IHC. Results: Of 314 pts, 30 had benign tumor and 284 had invasive cancer. SLNM was successful in 274/284 (96.5%) invasive cancer pts, with 728 SLNs identified. Forty-six of the 274 pts (16.8%) had low-volume metastasis in 57 SLNs: 31 pts (11.3%) had 38 SLNs with micrometastasis (>0.2 mm, ≤2 mm), while 15 pts (5.5%) had 19 SLNs with isolated tumor cells (≤0.2 mm). For 100 pts with second SLNM (70/90 pts successfully mapped with 102 nt-SLNs), or with SLNM of benign pathology (30/30 pts successfully mapped with 88 SLNs), there were no false positives in any of 190 nodes (P < 0.001). Conclusion: No false positives due to mechanical transport of cells or to benign cellular inclusions were identified in 190 lymph nodes from 100 patients with SLNM in benign bowel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2166-2169
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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