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Lymphovascular Space Invasion (LVSI) Is an Isolated Poor Prognostic Factor for Recurrence and Survival Among Women With Intermediate- to High-Risk Early-Stage Endometrioid Endometrial Cancer
  1. Lori E. Weinberg, MD, MS,
  2. Charles A. Kunos, MD, PhD and
  3. Kristine M. Zanotti, MD
  1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lori E. Weinberg, MD, MS, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave, Bldg A, Cleveland, OH 44195. E-mail:


Objectives Whereas previous studies have shown that lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) is associated with an increased risk for recurrent endometrioid endometrial cancer and worse survival, the magnitude of this risk in relationship to the other high-risk features is poorly understood. Our aim was to study the impact of LVSI in comparison with the other high-risk features in recurrence and survival.

Materials and Methods Women with stage I or II endometrial cancer were included in this study if they had LVSI, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics grade 2 or 3 histology, or outer-half myometrial invasion. We performed multivariate regression analyses to identify prognostic factors for recurrence. We performed Kaplan-Meier survival curve predictions of progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and disease-specific survival; and Cox proportional hazard models to adjust for other variables.

Results Three hundred eighty-eight patients met the inclusion criteria; their median follow-up was 59 months. The rates of recurrence were the following: overall, 17%; pelvic, 11%; vaginal cuff, 8%, and distant, 11%. Twenty-six percent of the patients died during follow-up. After adjusting for age, body mass index, grade, depth of invasion, cervical invasion, lymphadenectomy, and adjuvant treatment(s), LVSI was the only significant independent risk factor for total (odds ratio, 2.6) and distant (odds ratio, 3.3) recurrences and was also a risk factor for local and vaginal recurrences. Lymphovascular space invasion was also a significant poor prognostic factor for PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 2.8), OS (HR, 2.8), and disease-specific survival (HR, 7.0). Among the other risk factors, age was significantly associated with worse PFS and OS, whereas grade 3 histology was significantly associated with worse OS.

Conclusion In our study, LVSI is the only significant and consistent poor prognostic factor for all the outcomes studied: recurrences and survival. Lymphovascular space invasion seems to be a better predictor than the other risk factors. This suggests a potential role for adjuvant systemic therapies in patients with LVSI, even in the absence of other high-risk features.

  • Endometrioid endometrial cancer
  • Lymphovascular space invasion
  • Prognostic factors
  • Recurrence
  • Survival

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  • Presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting Austin, TX, March 24–27, 2012.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.