Dr. Christoph Weber and colleagues from Albertinen Hospital in Hamburg found that SPECT/CT might provide more comprehensive lymph node mapping in vulvar cancer and could help facilitate surgery in difficult cases.
The study evaluated 25 consecutive patients with vulvar cancer who were examined using conventional lymphoscintigraphy and follow-up SPECT/CT.
After injection of a contrast agent, anterior and lateral views were obtained for planar lymphoscintigraphy. SPECT/CT was then performed without reinjection of the radiopharmaceutical.
Conventional planar imaging detected 46 sentinel nodes among the 25 patients. In comparison, SPECT/CT found those 46 lymph nodes and 12 additional sentinel lymph nodes in 11 patients.
SPECT/CT also provided greater sensitivity, better anatomic information, and clear differentiation between sentinel lymph nodes and nonsentinel lymph nodes, Weber told AuntMinnie.com.
The higher sentinel lymph node detection rate, he added, would allow for more precise surgery for patients with vulvar cancer.
Weber and colleagues plan to advance the research by exploring the prognostic effect of the higher detection rate.