Intraoperative gross examination of myometrial invasion and cervical infiltration in patients with endometrial cancer: decision-making accuracy

Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Jun;85(3):483-6. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2002.6651.


Objectives: We sought to determine the accuracy of gross evaluation of the depth of myometrial invasion and the involvement of the cervix, and its value in determining the need for extensive surgery in patients with endometrial carcinoma.

Methods: The intraoperative records of 256 patients operated for endometrial cancer were used to compare the gross evaluations with the final microscopic histopathological findings. In the theater, the uterus was opened and inspected after its removal. The depth of myometrial invasion was noted as less or greater than 50% using a full-thickness incision through the tumor, while cervical involvement was noted as positive or negative, based on extension of the tumor below the internal cervical os. Standard statistical calculations were used to determine accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and false-positive and false-negative rates of the method.

Results: Regarding the depth of myometrial invasion, gross evaluation could accurately predict the final result in 88.2% of patients. Sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values were 83.7, 90.6, 82.8, and 91.1%, respectively. False-positive results were noted in 9.4% of cases and false-negative in 16.3%. Analysis of the characteristics of the false-negative patients showed that they had aggressive variant tumors, tumors of advanced grade, and tumors that more frequently had developed from an atrophic endometrium. With respect to cervical involvement, gross evaluation had an overall accuracy of 98.5%, 0% false-positive rate, 11.5% false-negative rate, 88.5% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value, and 98.3% negative predictive value.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that visual gross examination of the uterus provides safe and reliable estimates of both myometrial invasion and cervical infiltration. So, the surgeon can rely on the procedure to decide the need for further operative manipulations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Making
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Myometrium / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology