Extended experience in the use of laparoscopic ultrasound to detect pelvic nodal metastasis in patients with cervical carcinoma.

Research paper by T H TH Cheung, W K WK Lo, M Y MY Yu, W T WT Yang, S S Ho

Indexed on: 27 Feb '04Published on: 27 Feb '04Published in: Gynecologic Oncology


To evaluate the use of laparoscopic ultrasound (USG) to detect pelvic nodal metastasis in patients with early stage cervical carcinoma.Laparoscopic USG was used to search for pelvic lymph node metastasis in stage Ia2 to IIa cervical carcinoma patients before radical hysterectomy. Suspicious lymph nodes identified by laparoscopic USG were removed laparoscopically for pathological confirmation by frozen section. If nodal metastasis was diagnosed, radical hysterectomy would be cancelled but enlarged lymph nodes were removed preferably by laparoscopic approach before closing the abdomen. These patients were treated with radiotherapy after recovering from the surgery. By comparing the laparoscopic USG and pathological findings of lymph nodes removed with or without radical hysterectomy, diagnostic accuracy of laparoscopic USG was determined.Ninety-three patients were recruited and the final analysis included 90 patients. Laparoscopic USG found suspicious lymph nodes in 17 patients and nodal metastases were confirmed pathologically in 14 of them. Three patients with macroscopic and five patients with microscopic pelvic nodal metastases were missed by laparoscopic USG. The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of laparoscopic USG in detecting pelvic lymph node metastasis were 87.8%, 63.6%, 95.6%, 82.4%, and 89%, respectively. Macroscopic metastatic nodes were successfully removed laparoscopically in 11 out of 14 patients and laparotomy was required for the other three patients.Laparoscopic USG can be performed with no major morbidity. This technique is sensitive in detecting macroscopic but not microscopic metastatic pelvic lymph nodes. Removal of macroscopic metastatic nodes identified via laparoscopic USG via laparoscopic approach could be accomplished in majority of patients.