Lymphatic vascular space invasion (LVSI) has been noted as a poor prognostic factor in many tumors. In some studies of carcinoma of the cervix, LVSI has been demonstrated to be independent of other prognostic factors. The aim of this study is to evaluate if, by a simple quantitative technique, the density of lymphatic invasion could be correlated with the risk of recurrence in node negative early stage carcinoma of the cervix. We analyzed the pathology and clinical course of 71 consecutive patients with stage IB and IIA carcinoma of the cervix treated primarily by radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy. All cases had negative nodes and adequate surgical margins. There were 67 patients suitable for evaluation. Tumour type, grade, stage and the dimensions of the tumor were recorded. The density of LVSI was categorized as absent (45%), mild (15%), moderate (33%) or severe (7%) depending on the number of lymphatic vascular spaces involved per high power field in the worst affected slide. The patients were followed for 2–8½ years with a mean follow up of 4 years and 2 months. There were 13 recurrences and 7 deaths. All recurrences occurred in less than 2 years after surgery. The risk of recurrence was 40% for patients with extensive LVSI, 32% for moderate, 30% for mild and 3% if LVSI was absent. Only the presence of LVSI was associated with an increased risk of recurrence. The density of lymphatic invasion as represented by the number of lymphatic spaces occupied on the worst histological slide offered no further clinically useful information.
- lymphatic space invasion
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