Use of Indocyanine Green for Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Case Series and Methods Comparison

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Sentinel lymph node biopsy is indicated for patients with biopsy-proven thickness melanoma greater than 1.0 mm. Use of lymphoscintigraphy along with vital blue dyes is the gold standard for identifying sentinel lymph nodes intraoperatively. Indocyanine green (ICG) has recently been used as a method of identifying sentinel lymph nodes. We herein describe a case series of patients who have successfully undergone ICG-assisted sentinel lymph node biopsy for melanoma. We compare 2 imaging systems that are used for ICG-assisted sentinel lymph node biopsy.


Fourteen patients underwent ICG-assisted sentinel lymph node biopsy for melanoma using the SPY Elite system (Novadaq, Mississigua, Canada) and the Hamamatsu PDE-Neo probe system (Mitaka USA, Park City, Utah). We analyzed costs for 2 systems that utilize ICG for sentinel lymph node biopsies.


Intraoperative use of ICG for sentinel lymph node biopsies was successful in correctly identifying sentinel lymph nodes. There was no difference between the Hamamatsu PDE-Neo probe and SPY Elite systems in the ability to detect sentinel lymph nodes; however, the former was associated with a lower operating cost and ease of use compared with the latter.


ICG-assisted sentinel lymph biopsy using the SPY Elite or the Hamamatsu PDE-Neo probe systems for melanoma are comparable in terms of sentinel node detection. The Neo probe system delivers pertinent clinical data with the advantages of lower cost and ease of operation.

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