Inguinal or inguino-iliac/obturator lymph node dissection after positive inguinal sentinel lymph node in patients with cutaneous melanoma
Background. The aim of the study was to determine whether the presence of inguinal sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases smaller than 2 mm (micrometastases) subdivided according to the number of micrometastases predicts additional, non-sentinel inguinal, iliac or obturator lymph node involvement in completion lymph node dissection (CLND).
Patients and methods. Positive inguinal SLN was detected in 58 patients (32 female, 26 male, median age 55 years) from 743 consecutive and prospectively enrolled patients with primary cutaneous melanoma stage I and II who were treated with SLN biopsy between 2001 and 2007.
Results. Micrometastases in inguinal SLN were detected in 32 patients, 14 were single, 2 were double, and 16 were multiple. Twenty-six patients had macrometastases.
Conclusions. No patient with any micrometastases or a single SLN macrometastasis in the inguinal region had any iliac/obturator non-sentinel metastases after CLND in our series. Furthermore, no patient with single SLN micrometastasis in the inguinal region had any non-sentinel metastases at all after CLND in our series. In these cases respective CLND might be omitted.