Ultrasound spots post-op breast cancer recurrence

October 6, 2009

Findings of a South Korean study suggest ultrasound is an effective way to monitor lymph node recurrence after breast cancer surgery.

Findings of a South Korean study suggest ultrasound is an effective way to monitor lymph node recurrence after breast cancer surgery.

Dr. Hee Jung Moon and colleagues at the Research Institute of Radiological Science in Seoul assessed 1817 patients imaged with ultrasound; 2.1% had lymph node recurrence and findings were confirmed by cytopathology, clinical follow-up, and imaging (Radiology 2009;252:673-681). Ultrasound sensitivity was 76.9% and specificity was 98.7%. Distant metastases were found more frequently in patients with ipsilateral recurrence (62%) than in those without (2.3%). Regional lymph node recurrence affects less than a fifth of patients with any stage of breast cancer but is difficult to manage and associated with poor prognosis.