Prospective Evaluation of Lymph Node Processing at Staging Surgery for High-grade Endometrial Cancer

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To determine whether the processing of additional adipose tissue collected during lymph node (LN) dissection results in the identification of additional LNs during endometrial cancer (EC) staging and to determine if the division of LNs into nodal basin–specific specimens has an effect on the number of LNs identified during EC staging. A prospective randomized controlled trial was performed on women with high-grade EC undergoing surgical staging. Subjects were randomized to collection of LNs into nodal basin–specific containers on the randomized side versus simple labeling on the nonrandomized side. The total number of LNs and total number of LNs with metastases on the randomized versus the nonrandomized side were compared. The remaining adipose tissue from each LN specimen was submitted for histologic examination. We analyzed the number of LNs with and without metastases identified from additional adipose tissue. Of 120 consented subjects, 56 had sufficient data for analysis. The additional adipose tissue contained 7.5 additional LNs per patient on average (range: 0–26). In 2/54 total cases (3.7%) and 2/5 cases with nodal metastases (40%), the additional adipose contained LNs with metastases. In both cases, metastases were also detected in grossly identified LN candidates. The mean number of LNs identified was not significantly different based on method of collection (P=0.22). The mean number of LNs containing metastases per side was not significantly different (P=0.58). Processing of adipose tissue does increase the total number of LNs identified, however, it does not influence EC stage. No difference in LN counts was noted with basin-specific collection.

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