Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa)


Purpose: The goal of this study was to describe the pathologic findings and early follow-up experience of patients who underwent a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) between 2008 and 2017.

Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of women with breast cancer who underwent an SLNB at AKUH between 2008 and 2017. The SLNB was performed on patients with stage I and stage II breast cancer, and identification of the sentinel lymph node was made by radioactive tracer, blue dye, or both, per availability and surgeon preference. Demographic, surgical, and pathologic data, including immunohistochemistry of the surgical sample for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, were abstracted from the patient records. Follow-up data were available for a subset of patients.

Results: Between 2008 and 2017, six surgeons performed SLNBs on 138 women, 129 of whom had complete records and were included in the study. Thirty-one of 129 (24%) had a positive SLNB, including 10 of 73 (14%) with stage I and 21 of 56 (38%) with stage II disease. Seventy-eight patients (60%) received systemic adjuvant chemotherapy and 79 (62%) received radiation therapy, and of the 102 patients who were estrogen receptor positive, 86 (85%) received endocrine therapy. Seventy-nine patients were observed for > 2 years, and, of these, four (5.1%) had a regional recurrence.

Conclusion: The SLNB positivity rates were similar to those of high-income country (HIC) cohorts. However, preliminary data suggest that recurrence rates are elevated at AKUH as compared with those of HIC cohorts, perhaps because of a lower use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy at AKUH compared with HIC cohorts or because of differences in the characteristics of the primary tumor in patients at AKUH as compared with those in HICs.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Global Oncology

Included in

Surgery Commons