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Lymphadenectomy for early-stage mucinous ovarian carcinoma
  1. Quetrell D Heyward1,
  2. Dimitrios Nasioudis1,
  3. Lori Cory2,
  4. Ashley F Haggerty2,
  5. Emily M Ko2 and
  6. Nawar Latif2
  1. 1 Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2 Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Quetrell D Heyward, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; queheyward{at}


Objectives There is evidence to suggest that the rate of lymph node metastases in patients with ovarian mucinous tumors is rare. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of regional lymph node metastases among patients with apparent stage IA and IC mucinous ovarian carcinoma.

Methods A retrospective cohort study was performed and included patients from the National Cancer Database with apparent stage IA and IC mucinous ovarian tumors who underwent surgery between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2015. Data collected included demographics, surgical procedures, and pathologic characteristics. The primary outcome was the effect of tumor stage, grade, and size on the risk of lymph node metastases. Categorical and continuous variables were compared using the χ2 and Mann–Whitney U tests, respectively.

Results A total of 4379 patients were identified: 3088 and 1213 with stage IA and IC disease, respectively, with an additional 78 patients who were stage I Not Otherwise Specified (NOS). Lymphadenectomy was performed in 70.6% of patients with stage IA and 70.3% of patients with stage IC cancers. Stratifying by grade, 68.4%, 71.3%, and 72.8% of patients with grades 1, 2, and 3 tumors underwent a lymphadenectomy, respectively. Furthermore, lymphadenectomy was performed in 64.9% of patients with tumors <10 cm and 72.4% with tumors >10 cm. Lymph node metastases were identified in 1.2% and 1.6% of patients with stage IA and IC disease, respectively (p=0.063). Additionally, metastases were present in 0.6% of patients with grade 1 tumors, 1.1% of patients with grade 2 tumors, and 5.3% of patients with grade 3 tumors (p<0.001). Lastly, 0.9% of patients with tumors <10 cm and 1.4% of patients with tumors >10 cm had lymph node metastases (p=0.19).

Conclusions Among patients with mucinous ovarian carcinoma, lymph node metastases are rare. However, metastases are significantly more common in patients with higher grade tumors. These factors may be considered when making decisions regarding the need for lymphadenectomy in early-stage mucinous ovarian tumors.

  • ovary
  • ovarian cancer
  • lymph nodes
  • lymphatic metastasis

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the project development, data collection/analysis, and/or the manuscript writing/approval process.

  • 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 Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Please email with any questions.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.