Lymphatic Vessel Density as a Prognostic Marker in Clinical Stage I Endocervical Adenocarcinoma

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There are limited data evaluating the significance of lymphatic vessel density (LVD) as a prognostic marker in cervical adenocarcinoma. In this study, we investigated intratumoral and peritumoral LVD, using the lymphatic marker D2-40, as a prognostic marker in endocervical adenocarcinoma. Surgical specimens from 50 consecutive patients with endocervical adenocarcinoma treated with complete staging surgical procedures were reviewed. Selected tumor blocks were immunostained for D2-40 and CD31. Positively stained microvessels (MVs) were counted in densely vascular/lymphatic foci (hot spots) at 400× field in each specimen (0.17 mm2). Results were expressed as the highest MV count identified within any single field. Both intratumoral CD31 MV and peritumoral D2-40 LVD showed significant correlation with depth of invasion (r=0.39, 0.37, respectively), percentage of circumferential involvement (r=0.36, 0.48, respectively), and lymphovascular invasion detected by D2-40 (r=0.45, 0.51, respectively; P<0.01). Only peritumoral D2-40 LVD showed a significant correlation with lymph node metastases (r=0.40; P<0.01), disease-free and overall survivals. Using univariate analysis, peritumoral D2-40 LVD showed significant correlation with lymphovascular invasion detected by D20-40 and lymph node metastases (P<0.05), which was maintained on multivariate analysis. D2-40 detected lymphovascular invasion in 16 of 50 (32%) cases, and showed a significant correlation with depth of invasion, lymph node metastases, involvement of parametrium (r=0.41, 0.38, 0.32, respectively; P<0.01), and disease-free survival. Our study showed that both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis play an important role in the progression of endocervical adenocarcinoma, and that peritumoral D2-40 LVD is an independent predictor of lymph node metastasis.

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