methylene blue

Definition / meaning of methylene blue

A synthetic basic dye. Methylene blue stains to negatively charged cell components like nucleic acids; when administered in the lymphatic bed of a tumor during oncologic surgery, methylene blue may stain lymph nodes draining from the tumor, thereby aiding in the visual localization of tumor sentinel lymph nodes. When administered intravenously in low doses, this agent may convert methemoglobin to hemoglobin.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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