Original Article

Efficacy of Methylene Blue in Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Early Breast Cancer


  • Altan Özdemir
  • Burhan Mayir
  • Kenan Demirbakan
  • Nezihi Oygür

Received Date: 19.12.2013 Accepted Date: 19.12.2013 Eur J Breast Health 2014;10(2):88-91


Sentinel lymph node biopsy is the recommended approach in the evaluation of axilla during breast cancer surgery. In this study, results of patients who underwent methylene blue sentinel lymph node biopsy were evaluated.

Materials and Methods:

The study included 32 female patients with T1 and T2 tumors. 5 ml of 1% methylene blue was injected into the peritumoral area or around the cavity. The axillary sentinel lymph node was found and removed, and then axillary dissection was performed. The sentinel lymph node and axillary dissection specimen were histopathologically examined and the results were compared.


The sentinel lymph node was found in 30 (94%) patients. Lymph node metastasis was not observed in 17 patients in both the sentinel lymph node and axilla. Two patients had metastasis in the axilla although this was not detected in sentinel lymph node. Eleven patients had metastasis both in the sentinel lymph node and in the axilla . The accuracy rate was 93%, and the false negativity rate was identified as 15%.


Sentinel lymph node biopsy by methylene blue is a method that can be applied with high accuracy. Methylene blue can be considered as an alternative to isosulphane blue in sentinel lymph node biopsy.

Keywords: Breast cancer, sentinel lymph node, methylene blue