Objective To report on the performance of hysteroscopic injection of tracers (indocyanine green (ICG) and technetium-99m (Tc-99m)) for sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping in endometrial cancer.
Methods Single-center retrospective evaluation of consecutive patients who underwent SLN mapping following hysteroscopic peritumoral injection of tracer. Detection rate (overall/bilateral/aortic) diagnostic accuracy, and oncologic outcomes were evaluated.
Results A total of 221 procedures met the inclusion criteria. Mean patient age was 60 (range 28–84) years and mean body mass index was 26.9 (range 15–47) kg/m2 . In 164 cases (70.9%) mapping was performed laparoscopically. The overall detection rate of the technique was 94.1% (208/221 patients). Bilateral pelvic mapping was found in 62.5% of cases with at least one SLN detected and was more frequent using ICG than with Tc-99m (73.8% vs 53.3%; p<0.001). In 47.6% of cases SLNs mapped in both pelvic and aortic nodes, and in five cases (2.4%) only in the aortic area. In eight patients (3.8%) SLNs were found in aberrant (parametrial/presacral) areas. Mean number of detected SLNs was 3.7 (range 1–8). In 51.9% of cases at least one node other than SLNs was removed. Twenty-six patients (12.5%) had nodal involvement: 12 (46.2%) macrometastases, six (23.1%) micrometastases, and eight (30.7%) isolated tumor cells. In 12 cases (46.8%) the aortic area was involved. Overall, 6/221 (2.7%) patients had isolated para-aortic nodes. Three false-negative results were found, all in the Tc-99m group. All had isolated aortic metastases. Overall sensitivity was 88.5% (95% CI 71.7 to 100.0) and overall negative predictive value was 96.5% (95% CI 86.8 to 100.0). There were 10 (4.8%) recurrences: five abdominal/distant, four vaginal, and one nodal (in the aortic area following a unilateral mapping plus side-specific pelvic lymphadenectomy). Most recurrences (9/10 cases) were patients in whom a completion lymphadenectomy was performed. No deaths were reported after a mean follow-up of 47.7 months.
Conclusions Hysteroscopic injection of tracers for SLN mapping in endometrial cancer is as accurate as cervical injection with a higher detection rate in the aortic area. ICG improves the bilateral detection rate. Adding lymphadenectomy to SLN mapping does not reduce the risk of relapse.
- endometrial neoplasms
- sentinel lymph node
- SLN and lympadenectomy
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Editor's note This paper will feature in a special issue on sentinel lymph node mapping in 2020.
Twitter @Fabio Martinelli@DrFMartinelli
Contributors FM, AD, FR: conception and design of the work. FM, AD, GB, ULRM, MS, VC: data acquisition. FM: data analysis and interpretation. FM, FR: drafting and revising the paper. FM, FR: final approval of the paper.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.