Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis

ISSN: 2155-9929

Open Access

Evaluation of Sentinel Lymph Node Intraoperative Touch Imprint Cytology in Breast Cancer Surgery


Cristiana Iacuzzo, Marina Troian, Laura Bonadio, Deborah Bonazza, Chiara Dobrinja, Gabriele Bellio, Serena Scomersi, Fabiola Giudici, Fabrizio Zanconati and Marina Bortul

Background: One of the strongest prognostic factor for breast cancer is the regional lymph node status, which can be evaluated intraoperatively by sentinel lymph node biopsy. Many methods (e.g. frozen section, touch imprint cytology (TIC) and one-step nucleic-acid amplification) are available to detect metastatic cells in axillary lymph nodes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of using TIC to detect metastatic cells in sentinel lymph nodes.

Methods: This is a retrospective single center cohort analysis conducted on prospectively recorded data. The study included all patients admitted to the Department of General Surgery of Trieste University Hospital for invasive clinically node-negative breast cancer who underwent sentinel lymph node assessment by means of TIC.

Results: Between January 2015 and December 2016, 343 patients (338 females and 5 males) underwent breast surgery and sentinel lymph node TIC. Patient’s median age was 66 (33-92) years.

The sensitivity of TIC was 54% (95% C.I. 39% to 69%), whereas its specificity and accuracy were 99% (95% C.I. 98% to 100%) and 90%, respectively. The median time required to obtain the result was 20 (15-45) min. The overall cost per each TIC analysis was about 20.50€.

Conclusion: Touch imprint cytology appears to be a fast, cost-effective and reliable technique to intraoperatively detect breast cancer lymph node metastasis.


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