Objective: To describe the use of a new lymph-node revealing solution (LNRS) for detecting lymph node involvement in total cystectomy specimens from patients with locally confined invasive transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder, and to compare the results obtained with those using the conventional method (palpation and sectioning perivesical fat) that may fail to detect very small lymph nodes.
Materials and methods: Of 12 cystectomy specimens obtained from patients with TCC, six in which 0-3 metastatic nodes were identified by the conventional method were further investigated using LNRS. The revealing solution comprised 95% ethanol, diethyl ether, glacial acetic acid and buffered formalin (65:20:5:10 v/v) prepared under a fume-hood. After evaluation using the conventional method, the specimens were immersed for 6-12 h in the solution, washed under running tap water and the adipose tissue sectioned at intervals of 2-3 mm. Lymph nodes were identified as white, chalky nodules against the background of yellow fat. The number of the lymph nodes identified by conventional and the LNRS methods was recorded and classified according the TNM system.
Result: Twenty-two lymph nodes were detected by the conventional method, of which four were positive for tumour metastasis. Using the LNRS, an additional 21 nodes were identified among which 12 were positive. The mean size of the lymph nodes detected by the conventional and LNRS methods was 7.96 mm and 3.81 mm, respectively. The stage of three patients was increased (Nx to N2, N0 to N2 and N1 to N2) and therefore two of these patients received adjuvant chemotherapy.
Conclusions: LNRS significantly enhanced the yield of normal and metastatic nodes of cystectomy specimens and may identify smaller nodes. The LNRS method allows a more accurate staging with better assessment of the prognosis and need for adjuvant therapy.