International Journal of Gynecological Cancer vol:18 issue:4 pages:723-729
The objective of this study was to determine the role of laparoscopic lower para-aortic lymphadenectomy and positron emission tomography (PET) scan in the staging of cervical carcinoma. Ninety consecutive patients with FIGO stage IB2-IIIB were scheduled for laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy. Exclusion criteria: obvious metastatic para-aortic nodes on computed tomography (CT)/PET or PET-CT. The procedure was stopped when a node was positive on frozen section. In ten patients, no para-aortic lymphadenectomy was performed as scheduled. Forty-seven patients were operated retroperitoneally, 22 transperitoneally, and 21 cases were converted from retroperitoneally to transperitoneally. Median number of removed nodes was 6 (1-24). In 10 of 80 patients, para-aortic metastases were diagnosed. Despite a nonsuspect PET result, 5 of 44 patients had positive para-aortic nodes. Two-year survival was 76% and 16% without and with para-aortic metastases, respectively (P = 0.0001). Laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy showed metastases in 13% of the patients. In the subgroup with negative PET scan, 11% had metastases. The procedure had a low morbidity and identified a group with an extremely poor prognosis.