Axillary recurrence after negative sentinel lymph node biopsy

Hee Jeong Kim, Byung Ho Son, Eun Wha Park, Woo Sung Lim, Jin Young Seo, Mi Ae Jang, Bo Kyong Ku, Sei Hyun Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has almost totally replaced axillary lymph node dissection as the first-line axillary procedure for node-negative breast cancer. SLNB has a false-negative rate of 0-22%, and regional nodal recurrence is a major concern after SLNB. In this study, we assessed axillary recurrence and risk factors in breast cancer patients 40 months after negative SLNB. Methods Of 940 patients with node-negative breast cancer who underwent SLNB between December 2003 and January 2006 at Asan Medical Center, 720 were negative on SLNB, as determined using 99-m TC radiocolloid and subareolar injection technique. Of the 720 patients negative on SLNB, 174 underwent further axillary dissection, 253 underwent node sampling, and 293 received SLNB only. Results A mean of 2.1 SLNs was removed per patient. At a median follow-up of 40 months (range 24-49 months), recurrence in the axilla was observed in three patients, all of whom had undergone SLNB only; two of these patients also had recurrences in internal mammary lymph nodes. Tumors in all three patients were hormone-receptor negative, and two were c-erbb2 negative. Conclusion The axillary recurrence rate was low in patients negative on SLNB. Negative hormone-receptor status and high nuclear grade may be risk factors for regional nodal failure after SLNB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-305
Number of pages5
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Recurrence
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy


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