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Role of SPECT/CT in Sentinel Lymph Node Detection in Patients With Breast Cancer

Vercellino, Laetitia MD*†; Ohnona, Jessica MD*†; Groheux, David MD, PhD*†; Slama, Abdelhak MD*†; Colletti, Patrick M. MD; Chondrogiannis, Sotirios MD§; Merlet, Pascal MD*†; Toubert, Marie-Elisabeth MD*†; Rubello, Domenico MD§

doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e31829af8c0
Review Article

Aim: The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the published literature to assess the role (indications, advantages, and limitations) of SPECT/CT for the detection of sentinel lymph node (SLN) in breast cancer.

Methods: The authors searched PubMed for published literature in English addressing this topic.

Results: Eleven studies, published since 2006, focused on the role and value of SPECT/CT for SLN detection (SLND). They showed that SPECT/CT improved sentinel node detection and anatomical localization. One study suggested that SPECT/CT may provide a more accurate staging. Limitations for SLND with SPECT/CT include extra time and inconvenience for the patient and additional radiation dose.

Conclusions: SPECT/CT is a valuable tool for SLND, especially in difficult cases, when planar lymphoscintigraphy shows no SLN or unexpected lymphatic drainage.

From the *Nuclear Medicine Department, Saint Louis Hospital, APHP, Paris, and †UCK, U728 INSERM, IUH, Paris, France; ‡Department of Radiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; and §Department of Nuclear Medicine, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Rovigo, Italy.

Received for publication March 21, 2013; and revision accepted April 24, 2013.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Domenico Rubello, MD, Department of Imaging, Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT Centre, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Via Tre Martiri 140, 45100 Rovigo, Italy. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins