Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Nerve-Sparing Radical Hysterectomy: Local Recurrence Rate, Feasibility, and Safety in Cervical Cancer Patients Stage IA to IIA
  1. Sabrina A.H.M. van den Tillaart, MD*,
  2. Gemma G. Kenter, MD, PhD*,
  3. Alexander A.W. Peters, MD, PhD*,
  4. Friedo W. Dekker, PhD,
  5. Katja N. Gaarenstroom, MD, PhD*,
  6. Gertjan J. Fleuren, MD, PhD and
  7. J. Baptist M.Z. Trimbos, MD, PhD*
  1. * Departments of Gynaecology,
  2. Clinical Epidemiology, and
  3. Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sabrina A.H.M. van den Tillaart, MD, Department of Gynaecology, Leiden University Medical Center, K6-P, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, the Netherlands. E-mail: s.a.h.m.van_den_tillaart{at}


Objective: To clarify the debate about the possible threat of sparing the pelvic autonomic nerves in radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer to radicality, comparative studies of nerve-sparing and conventional surgery are necessary. The aim of his study was to analyze and compare local recurrence rate, feasibility, and safety of nerve-sparing and non-nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy.

Methods: In a cohort study with 2 years of follow-up, 246 patients with cervical cancer of stages IA to IIA were analyzed: 124 in the non-nerve-sparing group (1994-1999) and 122 in the group where nerve-sparing was the intention-to-treat (2001-2005). Local recurrence rate, local recurrence-free survival, feasibility, and safety were analyzed and compared.

Results: The clinical characteristics of the treatment groups were comparable. Sparing the nerves unilaterally or bilaterally was possible in 80% of cases of the nerve-sparing group. Local recurrence rates in the non-nerve-sparing (4.9%) and nerve-sparing (8.3%) group were not significantly different. Mean local recurrence-free survival within 2 years were 22.7 and 22.0 months, respectively. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses showed that nerve-sparing treatment was not a significant prognostic factor for local recurrence. With respect to perioperative and postoperative parameters, operating time and blood loss were less in the nerve-sparing group and mortality was equal (1 patient); the postoperative course of the nerve-sparing group was similar to the state-of-the-art of conventional radical hysterectomy.

Conclusions: On the basis of the results of our study, we consider the nerve-sparing technique for cervical cancer stages IA to IIA feasible and safe.

  • Uterine cervical neoplasms
  • Radical hysterectomy
  • Nerve sparing

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.