BACKGROUND: Our aim is to show whether the sentinel node procedure (SNP) is recommendable for pediatric patients with extremity rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Lymph node metastases are an important prognostic factor in pediatric patients with extremity RMS. Accurate nodal staging is necessary to treat the patient accordingly. An alternative to the current recommended lymph node sampling is the sentinel node procedure (SNP).
METHODS: A systematic review was performed summarizing all published cases of SNP in addition to 13 cases from our hospital and 8 cases from two other hospitals that have not been published before.
RESULTS: For all patients (n = 55), at least one SLN was identified, but the SNP technique used was not uniform. The SNP changed the nodal classification of eight patients (17.0%) and had a false-negative rate of 10.5%.
CONCLUSIONS: The SNP is recommendable for pediatric patients with extremity RMS. It can change lymph node status and can be used to sample patients in a more targeted way than nodal sampling alone. Therefore, we recommend use of the SNP in addition to clinical and radiological nodal assessment for pediatric patients with extremity RMS.