Background Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) acts as a vital role in the breast cancer surgery, and the identified number of sentinel nodes determines its accuracy to represent the status of axillae. There remain two tumor biopsy modes in breast cancer, preoperative and intraoperative biopsy. We compared the effect of the two different biopsies on the result of SLNB.
Methods Patients with clinical stage T1-3, N0 tumor were enrolled in this study. 53% received preoperative tumor biopsy and 47% received intraoperative excisional biopsy. For search of the sentinel lymph node, patients received dual tracer injection. The number of SLNs detected and false negative rate were compared between groups.
Results 204 patients were enrolled, 108 received preoperative tumor biopsy and 96 received intraoperative excisional biopsy. Among all the patients, 160 received ALND following SLNB. Preoperative tumor biopsy detected more SLNs than intraoperative biopsy (mean rank 113.87 vs. 90.9, p= 0.004). False negative rate in preoperative and intraoperative tumor biopsy was 3% and 18%, respectively.
Conclusions Patients in preoperative tumor biopsy group could find more SLNs than intraoperative biopsy patients. False negative rate was also lower in preoperative biopsy group.