The purpose of this study was to analyze the occurrence of ipsilateral, bilateral and contralateral inguinofemoral node metastases in unilateral vulvar carcinoma. One hundred and eighty-five women with a T1 or T2 squamous cell carcinoma who underwent radical vulvectomy with bilateral inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy were surveyed. Inguinofemoral lymph node metastases were found in 23 (22.1%) out of the 104 patients with a unilateral primary tumor. These lymph node metastases were found solely on the ipsilateral side in 21(91.3%) out of the 23 patients. One patient presented with bilateral extranodal growth in the groins. Another patient with a history of endometrial carcinoma had a right-sided vulvar tumor with contralateral groin node metastases. Half a year later, she was diagnosed with recurrent endometrial cancer on the right pelvic side-wall. Our study endorses clinical evidence that the preferential lymph flow is to the ipsilateral groin. Established lymph node metastases may disturb the normal lymph flow with contralateral metastases as a possible consequence.
- lymphatic node metastases
- vulvar neoplasms
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