Ultrasound combined with fine needle aspiration cytology for the assessment of axillary lymph nodes in patients with early stage breast cancer

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore the clinical usefulness of ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration cytology (USG-FNAC) for the evaluation of axillary lymph nodes in patients with early stage breast cancer (BC) among the Chinese Han female population.

Around 124 patients with early stage BC were included in this retrospective study. All patients underwent USG-FNAC (group A). Patients with proven metastasis also underwent axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) (group B). In addition, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) was performed 2 to 5 hours prior to the surgery.

The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and positive predictive value (PPV) of axillary ultrasound were 75.0%, 75.0%, 75.0%, and 82.6%, respectively, while for USG-FNAC, they were 80.8%, 100.0%, 88.7%, and 100.0%, respectively. Significant differences were found in specificity, accuracy, and PPV between the 2 procedures (P < .05).

The results of this study demonstrated that USG-FNAC was effective for selecting patients with early stage BC using ALND or SLNB among the Chinese Han female population.

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