Objective: To estimate the prevalence of lymph node involvement in women with primary mucinous ovarian carcinomas.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed of patients with primary mucinous ovarian carcinomas evaluated at a single institution between 1985 and 2007. A gynecologic oncology pathologist evaluated all cases. Patients with tumors of low malignant potential and mucinous carcinomas metastatic to the ovary from other primary sites were excluded.
Results: Patients with primary mucinous ovarian carcinomas were identified (n=107). All patients underwent primary surgery. At time of surgery, 93 patients (87%) had tumors that grossly appeared to be confined to the ovary, and 14 patients (13%) had evidence of extraovarian disease. Of the 93 patients with tumors that grossly appeared to be confined to the ovary at surgical exploration, 51 (55%) underwent lymphadenectomy (n=27 pelvic and paraaortic, n=19 pelvic only, n=5 paraaortic only). Of these 51 patients, none had metastatic disease to the pelvic or paraaortic lymph nodes. In addition, there were no significant differences in progression-free survival and overall survival rates between the patients who underwent lymphadenectomy and those who did not.
Conclusion: There were no cases of isolated lymph node metastases among women with primary mucinous carcinoma grossly confined to the ovary, suggesting that routine lymphadenectomy may be omitted in these patients.
Level of evidence: III.