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UNLABELLED: The magnetic technique for sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has been evaluated in several clinical trials. An in vivo porcine model was developed to optimise the magnetic technique by evaluating the effect of differing volume, concentration and time of injection of magnetic tracer. A total of 60 sentinel node procedures were undertaken. There was a significant correlation between magnetometer counts and iron content of excised sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) (r=0.82; P<0.001). Total number of SLNs increased with increasing volumes of magnetic tracer (P<0.001). Transcutaneous magnetometer counts increased with increasing time from injection of magnetic tracer (P<0.0001), plateauing within 60min. Increasing concentration resulted in higher iron content of SLNs (P=0.006). Increasing magnetic tracer volume and injecting prior to surgery improve transcutaneous 'hotspot' identification but very high volumes, increase the number of nodes excised. FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is the standard of care for axillary staging of breast cancer patients. Although the current gold standard technique is the combined injection of technetium-labelled nanocolloid and blue dye into the breast, the magnetic technique, using superparamagnetic carboxydextran-coated iron oxide (SPIO), has also been demonstrated as a feasible alternative. In this article, the authors set up to study factors in order to optimize the magnetic tracers.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





993 - 1002


Magnetic tracer, SLNB: magnetic technique, SPIO, Sentinel lymph node biopsy, Superparamagnetic iron oxide, Animals, Contrast Media, Magnetic Fields, Magnetometry, Models, Biological, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, Swine