Intraoperative Gamma Probe for Sentinel Node Localisation: Evaluation Study

SK Yu, KM Ma, KN Wong, J Leung, LC Leung

Hong Kong J Radiol 2005;8:40-8

Success of sentinel node localisation during surgery may depend on the performance of the gamma probe system used. Hence, evaluation of the gamma probe system is important and is an integral part in the acceptability and use of the equipment. Necessary requirements of gamma probe systems have been suggested and published by various researchers. However, detailed information on the acceptability of the equipment remains limited. We performed an acceptability study on a newly purchased gamma probe. The system under evaluation showed good precision, with a coefficient of variation of less than 1%. The 11-mm probe was a good choice for detecting superficial nodes, and the 14-mm probe was a good choice for detecting nodes in deep locations. In the evaluation of the ergonomic characteristics of the system, good performance was observed in terms of display and sound clarity. However, a hard copy of the measured count rate could not be produced. Battery capacity was found to be only about half of the value specified in the operation manual.