Currently, most centres use 2-D planar lymphoscintigraphy when performing dynamic sentinel lymph node biopsy in penile cancer patients with clinically impalpable inguinal nodes. This study aimed to investigate the role of SPECT/CT following 2-D planar lymphoscintigraphy (dynamic and static) in the detection and localization of sentinel lymph nodes in the groin.Methods
A qualitative (visual) review was performed on planar followed by SPECT/CT lymphoscintigraphy in 115 consecutive patients (age 28–86 years) who underwent injection of 99mTc-nanocolloid followed by immediate acquisition of dynamic (20 min) and early static scans (5 min) initially and further delayed static (5 min) images at 120 min followed by SPECT/CT imaging. The lymph nodes detected in each groin on planar lymphoscintigraphy and SPECT/CT were compared.Results
A total of 440 and 467 nodes were identified on planar scintigraphy and SPECT/CT, respectively. Overall, SPECT/CT confirmed the findings of planar imaging in 28/115 cases (24%). In the remaining 87 cases (76%), gross discrepancies were observed between planar and SPECT/CT images. SPECT/CT identified 17 instances of skin contamination (16 patients, 13%) and 36 instances of in-transit lymphatic tract activity (24 patients, 20%) that had been interpreted as tracer-avid lymph nodes on planar imaging. In addition, SPECT/CT identified 53 tracer-avid nodes in 48 patients (42%) that were not visualized on planar imaging and led to reclassification of the drainage basins (pelvic/inguinal) of 27 tracer-avid nodes.Conclusions
The addition of SPECT/CT improved the rate of detection of true tracer-avid lymph nodes and delineated their precise (3-D) anatomic localization in drainage basins.
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