Background: Recently, invasion of vascular spaces by endometrial carcinoma has received particular attention as a prognostic factor. The goal of the current investigation was to re-examine the effect of vascular invasion on tumor recurrence and survival in patients with endometrial carcinoma.
Methods: Surgical specimens from 238 patients with endometrial carcinoma were examined for the presence of vascular invasion by tumor cells. Vascular invasion was compared with clinicopathologic features and postoperative survival. Survival curves by vascular invasion were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: In a histopathologic review of 238 cases of endometrial carcinoma, 82 neoplasms demonstrated vascular invasion. Vascular invasion significantly correlated with the extension of primary tumor, depth of myometrial invasion, and histologic grade. Patients with lymph node metastasis had a significantly higher incidence of vascular invasion. Survival at 5 years for patients with vascular invasion was 73.4%. This was significantly lower than the survival rate of 91.5% for women without this finding (P < 0.001). Among patients with lymph node metastasis, 80.2% of the patients with vascular invasion survived for 5 years compared with 95.3% of the patients without vascular invasion (P < 0.05). Ten of 47 patients with no lymph node metastasis but with vascular invasion developed recurrent carcinoma. Nine of these ten patients apparently had extrapelvic recurrences.
Conclusions: The presence of vascular invasion is a reliable prognostic indicator. Recording of tumor recurrence pattern may lead to a better selection of patients for adjuvant systemic therapy after surgery.