Article Text

The side of groin node metastases in unilateral vulvar carcinoma
  1. M. P.M. Burger*,
  2. H. Hollema and
  3. J. Bouma*
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and †Department of Pathology, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands
  1. Address for correspondence: Matthé PM Burger, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital, Oostersingel 59, NL-9713 EZ Groningen, The Netherlands.


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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