Predictors of positive sentinel lymph node in thin melanoma

David V. Yonick, Rana M. Ballo, Estelle Kahn*, Madhu Dahiya, Katherine Yao, Constantine Godellas, Margo Shoup, Gerard V. Aranha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background The treatment of thin melanoma (Breslow thickness <1.0 mm) may include sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy (SLNB). The validity of SLNB for thin melanoma remains widely debated. The purpose of this study was to elucidate pathologic factors that are predictive of SLN positivity. Methods A retrospective analysis of a prospective database revealed 1,199 patients diagnosed with primary cutaneous melanoma. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine an association between pathologic factors and SLN positivity. Results Thin melanomas were identified in 469 patients (39%). Of these, 147 patients (31%) underwent SLNB. Positive SLNs were found in 16 patients (11%). Multiple logistic regression demonstrated that both ulceration (odds ratio, 5.27; P = .047) and thickness (odds ratio, 46.69; P = .022) were associated with SLN positivity. Conclusions Patients with thin melanomas >.75 mm and/or ulceration should be considered for SLNB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-328
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel lymph node
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Thin melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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