Original Investigation

Sentinel lymph node detection and accuracy in vulvar cancer: Experience of a tertiary center in Turkey


  • Nurettin Boran
  • Derya Akdağ Cırık
  • Zuhal Işıkdoğan
  • Metin Kır
  • Taner Turan
  • Gökhan Tulunay
  • Mehmet Faruk Köse

Received Date: 30.05.2013 Accepted Date: 18.07.2013 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2013;14(3):146-152 PMID: 24592094


To explore the accuracy of sentinel lymph node (SLN) dissection in predicting regional lymph node status by using either only Technetium-99m-labelled (Tc-99m) or in combination with a blue dye in patients with squamous cell cancer of vulva.

Material and Methods:

Twenty-one patients who had T1 (≤2 cm) or T2 (>2cm) tumors that did not encroach into the urethra, vagina or anus were included in the study. For the first twelve patients, Tc-99m was used for SLN identification, and the combined technique was used in subsequent patients. Preoperatively, Tc-99m and a blue dye was injected intradermally around the tumor. Following SLN dissection, complete inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy was performed.


We could detect SLN in all 21 patients (100%) by either Tc-99m or the combined method. SLN was found to be histopathologically negative in 13 groins via Tc-99m and 10 groins via the combined method. Twenty-one of these 23 (91.3%) groin non-SLN were also negative, but in two groins, we detected metastatic non-SLN.


Although SLN dissection appears promising in vulvar cancer, false negative cases are reported in the literature. Sentinel lymph node dissection without complete lymphadenectomy does not seem appropriate for routine clinical use, since it is known that groin metastasis is fatal.

Keywords: Sentinel node, lymph node, vulvar cancer