BACKGROUND: Lymphoscintigraphy is used preoperatively to identify sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs). Conventional planar scintigraphy cannot provide three-dimensional(3D) information for SLN biopsy. We applied stereoscopic imaging to preoperative lymphoscintigraphy to obtain 3D information and evaluated its usefulness. METHODS: Forty-four clinical stage I breast cancer patients (1 male, 43 females; age, 59.4+/-11.4 years) were enrolled in this study. Three hours after the injection of Tc-99m, 10 degrees of oblique images and routine anterior and lateral images were acquired. Anterior and lateral stereoscopic images were obtained in all studies, except for 2 patients; only lateral views were done for those. Two experienced radiologists enumerated the visualized hot nodes. RESULTS: Stereoscopic imaging delineated more hot axillary lymph nodes compared to routine planar imaging in 8 of 42 patients (19.0%) on anterior view, 5 of 44 patients (11.4%) on lateral view, and 11 of 44 patients (25.0%) on either the anterior or lateral view. Statistically significant differences were observed between stereoscopic and routine planar imaging method on the anterior (p=0.012) and the lateral views (p=0.043). The stereoscopic imaging provided 3D information and effectively separated closely located hot nodes that were viewed as one hot node on conventional planar images. Thirty-eight out of 42 cases (90%) with anterior stereoscopic images identified the same number or more axillary hot nodes compared with lateral stereoscopic images. CONCLUSION: The stereoscopic imaging method could improve the preoperative identification of SLNs. This method is technically simple, and could be a powerful diagnostic tool for SLN imaging breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)