What is the appearance of sentinel and axillary nodes on breast cancer lymphoscintigraphy (sentinel lymph node mapping)?

Updated: Dec 13, 2018
  • Author: Durre Sabih, MBBS, MSc, FRCP(Edin); Chief Editor: Mahan Mathur, MD  more...
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The sentinel node is the one that appears first, is closer to the injection, and/or has a lymphatic duct connecting the injection site with the node.

Axillary nodes are seen in almost all patients, but the appearance of nodes can take several patterns, as follows:

  • One sentinel node, with or without a visible lymphatic duct; no second-tier nodes

  • One sentinel and one or more second-tier nodes

  • The simultaneous appearance of two nodes with same uptake intensity (twin sentinel nodes)

  • A node closer to the injection site that appears later than other more distant nodes (the closer node is the sentinel node)

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