Sentinel node biopsy using indocyanine green in oral/oropharyngeal cancer

Hanwei Peng, Steven J. Wang, Xiaohua Niu, Xihong Yang, Chongwei Chi, Guojun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Backgrounds: Radioactive tracer-based detection has been proposed as a standard procedure in identifying sentinel nodes for cN0 oral/oropharyngeal carcinoma. However, access to radioactive isotopes may be limited in some surgical centers, and there is potential risk of the radioactive tracers to the operators. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of near-infrared fluorescence imaging with indocyanine green combined with blue dye mapping in sentinel node biopsy for cN0 oral/oropharyngeal carcinoma. Methods: Twenty-six cases of previously untreated oral/oropharyngeal carcinoma staged cT1-2N0M0 were enrolled in this study. One milliliter of indocyanine green (5 mg/ml) and 1.5 ml of methylene blue (1 mg/ml) were injected sequentially around the primary tumor in a four-quadrant pattern before skin incision. After elevation of the platysma flap and posterior retraction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, fluorescence images were taken with a near-infrared detector, with special attention paid to any blue-dyed lymph nodes. Lymph nodes identified first with fluorescent hot spots with or without blue dye were defined as sentinel nodes, and they were harvested and sent for pathologic study. Results: Sentinel nodes were successfully harvested in all 26 cases. The number of sentinel nodes (SNs) per case varied from 1 to 9, with an average of 3.4. Routine pathology demonstrated occult metastasis exclusively in SNs in four cases (15.4 %). No tracer-associated side effects occurred in this series. Conclusions: Near-infrared imaging using indocyanine green combined with methylene blue mapping is a feasible and reliable new method for SN biopsy in cN0 oral/oropharyngeal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number278
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 17 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Indocyanine green
  • Methylene blue
  • Near-infrared fluorescence
  • Oral neoplasms
  • Oropharyngeal neoplasms
  • Sentinel node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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