OBJECTIVES: Lymphoscintigraphy with sentinel node dissection and 18 fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET) are being used independently in the management of many intermediate and thick melanomas of the head and neck. We report a series of patients with melanoma of the head and neck with Breslow depths greater than 1,0 mm and clinically negative regional nodes that were evaluated prospectively with PET and lymphoscintigraphy. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Between July 1, 1998 and December 30, 2000 PET scans were obtained preoperatively on 18 patients undergoing resection of head and neck melanoma. Lymphoscintigraphy and sentinel node dissection was performed. Resection of the primary lesion was then carried out with adequate margins and the defects were reconstructed. RESULTS: Sentinel node(s) were found in 17/18 patients (94.4%); 5/18 (27.8%) of cases had metastases. PET detected nodal metastasis preoperatively in 3 patients (16.7%), one of which had a positive sentinel node dissection. CONCLUSION: PET and lymphoscintigraphy offer complimentary ways of evaluation for metastatic melanoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas