Document Type



Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery


Objectives: To assess the diagnostic value of sentinel lymph node localisation using pre-operative lymphoscintigraphy and intra-operative gamma probe radio localisation in Pakistani patients suffering from early stage squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.
Methods: The prospective case series was conducted between September 2007 and April 2010 at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. It comprised patients with T1and T2 oral cavity cancer with clinically and radiologically negative neck. Pre-operative lymphoscintigraphy was performed one day before surgery and intra-operative gamma probe was used to detect sentinel node. Final histo-pathological evaluation was taken as the gold standard.
Results: The study comprised 42 patients: 32(76%) males and 10(24%) females. The primary tumour site was buccal mucosa in 25 (60%) patients, and tongue in 17 (40%). Sentinel lymph node was detected in 38 (90%) patients.
On final histopathological identification, 7 (17%) patients had cancer in the neck nodes. In all patients with metastasis, sentinel lymph node technique correctly identified the involved neck level. None of the patients revealed metastasis in non-sentinel lymph nodes.
Conclusion: Evidence suggested the use of sentinel node biopsy in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association