Background: Indocyanine green (IcG) is an alternative to isosulfan blue (IB) for sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping in breast cancer (BC). IcG carries improved cost and safety, but oncologic data upon implementation in practice is limited. We evaluated the learning curve defined as oncologic yield and operative (OR) time for IcG in SLN mapping in BC.
Methods: Retrospective review of patients >18 years with cTis-2 cN0 BC undergoing surgery first with SLN biopsy using IB or IcG. Analysis compared IB versus IcG across three time cohorts.
Results: Of 278 patients, 77 received IB and 201 received IcG. OR time was longer for IcG (p = 0.022). There was no difference in oncologic yield between groups (p = 0.35, p = 0.61).
Conclusions: Surgeons may be able to safely transition from IB to IcG for patients with early-stage breast cancer undergoing surgery first. Individuals should track their own data to confirm safety of the technique.