Objective: The purpose of prospective study is to determine incidence and distribution of pelvic lymph node (LN) involvement, sentinel lymph node (SLN) involvement and pathologic parametrial involvement (PI) in stage Ia2 and small Ib1 cervical cancer. PI is defined as positive parametrial LN or discontinuous malignant cells in parametrium.
Methods: After radical abdominal hysterectomy, 158 women patients were stratified into two groups based on tumour size: In Group 1 (91 women) tumours were less than 20 mm and less than half of stromal invasion. In Group 2 (67 women) tumours were between 20 and 30 mm and infiltration was not more than 2/3 of cervical stroma.
Results: In Group 1 positive SLN was detected in 11(12.1%) patients; of these, 3 (27.3%) had positive PI. In 80 women with negative SLN PI was not detected. In Group 2 positive SLN was detected in 14 (20.9%) patients: PI was found in four (28.6%) of these 14 patients. No PI was detected in 53 women with negative SLN.
Conclusion: No PI was observed in early cervical cancer if SLNs were negative. However, we found PI in 28.0% of women with positive SLN. Statistical analysis revealed that the results were highly significant. Based on our results, radical removal of parametrium in SLN negative patients is questionable.