Safety and technical success of methylene blue dye for lymphatic mapping in breast cancer

Shaheen Zakaria, Tanya L. Hoskin, Amy C. Degnim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: We aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of methylene blue dye (MBD) for sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping in breast cancer. Methods: A total of 398 patients undergoing 401 SLN biopsy procedures with MBD were retrospectively reviewed and divided into 3 groups based on dye concentration and location of dye injection. Technical success and complication rates were compared. Results: Overall technical success of SLN biopsy was 99.7%. Technical success of SLN mapping with MBD was lowest in the group receiving full strength dye in a peritumoral location (74%) and highest in the group that received very dilute MBD (1.25 mg/mL) in the subareolar location (92%, P = .004). The complication rate was highest in the first group (21%) and lowest in the latter (2%, P = .0003). Conclusions: Dilute MBD (1.25 mg/mL) successfully maps SLNs with very few complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Allergic reaction
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Isosulfan blue dye
  • Methylene blue dye
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Skin necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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