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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9161versión impresa ISSN 1130-0558


GARCIA-ROZADO GONZALEZ, A. et al. The role of the sentinel node biopsy in the diagnosis and therapeutic management of melanoma of the head and neck. Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac [online]. 2005, vol.27, n.5, pp.298-309. ISSN 2173-9161.

Objective. The ongoing incidence of malignant cutaneous melanoma of the head and neck has become a challenge in many regions of the world, in spite of prophylactic trials such as popular education and screening. Although non-surgical therapies are performed, most melanomas are actually treated by surgical excision. In the last few years, sentinel node biopsy has evolved as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool, and it has permitted a significant minimizing of the morbidity associated with the surgical management of the neck. This article is aimed at providing a thorough review of our experience in head and neck melanoma, as well as a retrospective analysis of locoregional metastases and the predictability of sentinel node biopsy for the staging of melanoma. Design. A retrospective review of our experience over the last two years has been carried out that includes 12 cases of head and neck melanoma where lymphoscintigraphy and sentinel node biopsy were performed. Results. Sentinel lymph nodes were identified using preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperative gamma probe in 11 cases (91.6%). A total of 21 nodes were identified in the 12 patients, with an average number of 1.75 nodes per patient. The most frequent site where nodes were located was level II of the neck. Two nodes (9.52%) were affected by melanoma. There was minimal morbidity related to this procedure. Conclusions. In spite of the reduced size of the sample and the short-term follow-up, our results are similar to those obtained by other authors, which leads us to believe that sentinel lymph node mapping with biopsy is a reliable technique for the diagnosis of regional spread in head and neck cutaneous melanoma, even in early development stages.

Palabras clave : Head and Neck Melanoma; Sentinel Node; Lymphoscintigraphy.

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