The staging and prognosis of patients with breast cancer is related to the presence or absence of axillary lymph node involvement. However, in some cases no lymph nodes or too small a number of lymph nodes are revealed by the traditional method of palpating and sectioning the axillary fat. In the present study we demonstrate the usefulness of the lymph node revealing solution (LNRS) in breast cancer. Specimens from 13 patients, in whom <10 lymph nodes were identified in the axilla by the traditional method, were included in the study. After excising the lymph nodes by the traditional method, axillary tissue was immersed in LNRS for 6-12 hours. Additional lymph nodes, which stood out as white chalky nodules, were excised and processed as usual. The LNRS increased the mean number of nodes per case from 6.0 ± 2.5 found by the traditional method to 12.54 ± 4.61 nodes per case (p < 0.01). The size of the nodes identified by the LNRS was significantly smaller (p < 0.01) than those detected by the traditional method. The LNRS changed the lymph node stage of the disease in four of the studied cases (30%) LNRS seems to be the technique of choice for detection of axillary lymph nodes in cases where the number of detected lymph nodes by the traditional method is too small for accurate staging.
From the Departments of Pathology (R.K., A.P., V.V., R.G.), Surgery A (S.K.), and Oncology (B.K.), Rabin Medical Center (Golda Campus), Petah Tiqva, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. Gal, Dept. of Pathology, Rabin Medical Center (Golda Campus), Hasharon Hospital, Petah Tiqva, Israel.