Performance of a Nonlinear Magnetic Handheld Probe for Intraoperative Sentinel Lymph Node Detection: A Phantom Study

Eliane R. Nieuwenhuis, Nida Mir, Melissa M. Horstman-van de Loosdrecht, Antoi P.W. Meeuwis, Maarten G.J. de Bakker, Tom W.J. Scheenen, Lejla Alic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Objective: This study investigates the performance of the DiffMag handheld probe (nonlinear magnetometry), to be used for sentinel lymph node detection. Furthermore, the performance of DiffMag is compared with a gamma probe and a first-order magnetometer (Sentimag®, linear magnetometry). Methods: The performance of all three probes was evaluated based on longitudinal distance, transverse distance, and resolving power for two tracer volumes. A phantom was developed to investigate the performance of the probes for a clinically relevant situation in the floor of the mouth (FOM). Results: Considering the longitudinal distance, both DiffMag handheld and Sentimag® probe had comparable performance, while the gamma probe was able to detect at least a factor of 10 deeper. Transverse distances of 13, 11, and 51 mm were measured for the small tracer volume by the DiffMag handheld, Sentimag®, and the gamma probe, respectively. For the large tracer volume this was 21, 18, and 55 mm, respectively. The full width at half maximum, at 7 mm probe height from the phantom surface, was 14, 12, and 18 mm for the small tracer volume and 15, 18, and 25 mm for the large tracer volume with the DiffMag handheld, Sentimag®, and gamma probe, respectively. Conclusions: With a high resolving power but limited longitudinal distance, the DiffMag handheld probe seems suitable for detecting SLNs which are in close proximity to the primary tumor. In this study, comparable results were shown using linear magnetometry. The gamma probe reached 10 times deeper, but has a lower resolving power compared with the DiffMag handheld probe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8735-8742
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number13
Early online date4 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Detection
  • Gamma probe
  • Magnetic handheld probe
  • Sentinel lymph node
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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