An analysis of SPECT/CT non-visualization of sentinel lymph nodes in renal tumors.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) after intratumoral injection of 99mTc labeled nanocolloid and imaging with scintigraphy and SPECT/CT in renal tumors is feasible. However, sentinel lymph node (SN) non-detection rate with scintigraphy and SPECT/CT is high. The aim of the study was to determine factors affecting non-visualization (NV) of SN imaging in renal tumors. Seventy-eight patients with cT1-3 renal tumors received intratumoral injection of 225 MBq 99mTc-labeled nanocolloid 1 day before (partial) nephrectomy. Radiotracer injection was followed by anterioposterior and lateral scintigraphy in combination with SPECT/CT 20 min and 2-4 h after. Surgical treatment of the tumor with sentinel lymph node biopsy by aid of γ-probe and-camera was performed the next day. Scintigraphy and SPECT/CT images were evaluated and patient, tumor, and procedure characteristics were collected for 73 eligible patients used in uni- and multivariable analysis of a potential association with NV.

A total of 80 (mean 1.1, IQR 0-2, max 6) sentinel lymph nodes in 46 patients were detected with scintigraphy and SPECT/CT. Preoperative visualization rate and intraoperative detection rate was 63% [95% CI 50-73%] and 61% [95% CI 49-72%], respectively. In uni- and multivariable analysis, the only factor associated with non-visualization was age, showing higher odds of non-visualization with higher age.

Our study demonstrated that non-visualization of SNs in renal tumors is relatively high and is associated with patient age. Furthermore, kidneys and also its tumors are highly vascularized which may cause a wash-out effect that could be identified with decreased kidney-liver ratios. However, in our data, the effect was statistically inconclusive. Further studies are needed to improve visualization and standardize the procedure of SLNB in renal tumors. The percentage of NV limits the use of SLNB for research and clinical purposes in renal cancer.

EJNMMI research. 2018 Dec 03*** epublish ***

Teele Kuusk, Maarten L Donswijk, Renato A Valdés Olmos, Roderick E De Bruijn, Oscar R Brouwer, Kees Hendricksen, Simon Horenblas, Katarzyna Jóźwiak, Warner Prevoo, Henk G Van Der Poel, Bas W G Van Rhijn, Esther M Wit, Axel Bex

Department of Urology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Postbus 90203, 1006 BE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands., Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Postbus 90203, 1006 BE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands., Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Postbus 90203, 1006 BE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands., Department of Radiology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Postbus 90203, 1006 BE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands., Department of Urology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Postbus 90203, 1006 BE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. .