(HealthDay News) — For patients with primary melanoma, the risk of sentinel lymph node (SLN) positivity is significantly lower for those with histologic regression, according to a review published online September 2 in JAMA Dermatology.

Simone Ribero, MD, PhD, from the University of Turin in Italy, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine whether regression affects SLN status. The authors reviewed 94 articles; the analysis included 14 studies with 10,098 patients.

The researchers found that the likelihood of SLN positivity was lower for patients with vs. those without regression (odds ratio, 0.56). The likelihood of SLN positivity was lower for patients with regression enrolled in high-quality studies (odds ratio, 0.48) compared with results of lower-quality studies (odds ratio, 0.73). There was no evidence of publication bias on examination of the funnel plot.

“The results of this analysis showed that the risk of SLN positivity was significantly lower in patients with histologic regression compared with those without,” the authors write. “Regression may be used in these cases to make a selection of which patients should be the most appropriate for this procedure.”

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