Predictive Factors of Unexpected Lymphatic Drainage Pathways in Early-Stage Cervical Cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2019 Jul;154(1):102-109. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.04.008. Epub 2019 Apr 16.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) topography in patients with early-stage cervical cancer and to determine factors associated with atypical lymphatic drainage pathway (LDP).

Methods: We analyzed the data of two prospective multicentric trials on SLN biopsy for cervical cancer (SENTICOL I and II) in women undergoing surgery for early-stage cervical cancer. SLN detection was realized with a combined labeling technique (Patent blue and radioactive tracer). Patients having bilateral SLN detection were included. Univariate and Multivariate analysis were performed by patients and by side to assess clinical and pathologic factors that may predict atypical LDP.

Results: Between January 2005 and July 2012, 326 patients with 1104 intraoperative detected SLNs fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The SLNs were mainly located in the interiliac or external iliac area in 83.2%. The other localizations were: 9.2% in the common iliac area, 3.9% in the parametrium, 1.6% in the promontory area, 1.5% in the paraaortic area and 0.5% in other areas. Thirty-five patients (10.7%) had atypical SLN without SLN in typical area on one or both sides. In multivariate analysis, tumor size ≥20 mm appeared as an independent factor of having at least one exclusive atypical LDP (ORa = 3.95 95%CI = [1.60-9.78], p = 0.003). Multiparity decreased significantly the probability of having at least one exclusive atypical LDP (ORa = 0.16 95%CI = [0.07-0.39], p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Tumor size larger than 20 mm and nulliparity increase the risk of having exclusive atypical LDP in early-stage cervical cancer.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; Lymphatic drainage; Radical hysterectomy; SENTICOL; Sentinel lymph node.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sentinel Lymph Node / pathology*
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy / methods
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Young Adult