The objective of this study is to determine the feasibility of intraoperative lymphatic mapping in patients with cervical carcinoma. Patients with early-stage cervical cancer, scheduled to undergo a Wertheims radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy, were eligible for the study. Technetium-99-m-labeled nanocolloid was injected intracervically at two locations around the tumor 3–6 hours before the operation. Images were recorded immediately and 2.5 hours later using a gamma camera. During the operation sentinel nodes (SLN) were identified using a handheld or laparoscopic gamma-detection probe (Navigator, Auto-Suture). After resection of the SLNs a standard pelvic (and para-aortic) lymphadenectomy was performed. The results of the histopathology of SLNs and non-SLNs were compared. The procedure was well tolerated by 24 of 25 patients. One or more SLN could be identified in 21 out of 25 patients. In one patient who was preoperatively irradiated, in two patients who had had a cone biopsy, and in one patient without previous interventions, no SLN could be detected. The mean time for identification was 5 minutes. In 16 patients, pathologic examination showed no metastatic disease in both SLNs and non-SLNs, whereas metastases were found in the SLN in five patients (in one case only SLN involved, four cases SLN and respectively 3, 11, 22 and 31 other positive nodes). This study shows that identification of SLNs in cancer of the uterine cervix is feasible with preoperatively administered 99mTc-labeled nanocolloid. To date, no false negative SLNs have been found, but expansion of the study is necessary to determine possible clinical application of this new technique.
- sentinel node
- uterine cervix
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