Localization of metastatic axillary lymph nodes in breast cancer patients is an increasingly common procedure performed by radiologists. In 2014, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines stated that “clinically positive axillary lymph node (s) should be sampled by FNA or core biopsy and clipped with image-detectable marker; clipped lymph nodes must be removed if FNA or core biopsy was positive prior to neoadjuvant therapy”. Since then, multiple studies have further supported targeted axillary surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), with excision of the clipped metastatic axillary node in addition to the sentinel node (s). Requests for image guided localization of clipped axillary nodes will continue to increase and likely become the standard of care. However, when lymph nodes have decreased in size after NAC, or when small deep lymph nodes are sampled, the clipped node can be difficult to identify under ultrasound at the time of localization. When the target node is questionable, we have found it valuable to place an intermediary clip, and use an axillary mammographic view to confirm this intermediary clip co-localizes with the intended target. With this confirmation, safe, accurate localization can then be performed. We describe 3 cases of intermediary clip placement facilitating successful localization of previously clipped axillary lymph nodes.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.