Surgical predictors of para-aortic metastases in early-stage cervical carcinoma

Thomas E. Hackett, George Olt, Joel I. Sorosky, Edward Podczaski, Terry A. Harrison, Rodrigue Mortel

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25 Scopus citations


Radical pelvic surgery for cervical carcinoma is contraindicated in the presence of para-aortic node metastases. However, the incidence of para-aortic nodal involvement is very low in early-stage disease. Therefore, it may not be necessary to subject all patients to para-aortic lymphadenectomy prior to radical hysterectomy. Medical records for 408 patients with early-stage cervical carcinoma treated at the Pennsylvania State University-M.S. Hershey Medical Center were reviewed to ascertain if clinical factors can be utilized intraoperatively to accurately predict those patients at minimal risk for para-aortic lymph node metastases. The presence of clinically suspicious (abnormally enlarged or firm) pelvic or para-aortic lymph nodes or extracervical spread of tumor at the time of exploration were significant predictors of para-aortic metastases (P < 0.001). The majority of patients (85%) had none of these risk factors, and no patient had para-aortic metastases in the absence of these predictors. Suspicious pelvic or para-aortic lymph nodes were present in the minority of patients (15%) and identified all patients with para-aortic metastases. Therefore, para-aortic lymphadenectomy may be safely omitted at the time of exploration for radical hysterectomy in the absence of enlarged or abnormally firm pelvic or para-aortic lymph nodes. In the presence of either of these factors or extracervical spread of disease a para-aortic lymphadenectomy is necessary to rule out metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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