Role of Lymphovascular Invasion in Pattern C Invasive Endocervical Adenocarcinoma
Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) has been reported as an independent predictor of patient outcome in cervical carcinoma. However, not all studies support independent significance, especially in multivariable analyses. A risk stratification system recently introduced for endocervical adenocarcinoma was reported to better predict risk of lymph node (LN) metastasis. A subset of patients with tumors with pattern C features had LN metastasis and died of disease. In this study, we determined whether LVI had any additional significance in this subset of tumors. A total of 127 patients with pattern C tumors and at least 12-month follow-up were included. Tumors were separated into 3 subgroups. Those with no LVI and negative LNs represented 41 cases; most patients (36, 88%) were alive with no evidence of disease at last follow-up, whereas 4 (10%) died of disease, all after tumor recurrence/metastasis. Tumors with LVI, but negative LNs, represented 55 cases; recurrences were seen in 10 (18%) patients, of which 5 (50%) of them died of disease; remaining 5 patients are alive with persistent disease. Tumors with both LVI and positive LNs represented 31 cases; recurrences were seen in 13 (42%) patients; 11 (85%) patients died of disease and 2 are alive with persistent disease. One additional patient who presented with advanced stage also died of disease. Tumor size, horizontal spread, and LN status were significantly associated with outcome in univariate, but not in multivariable analysis; depth of invasion was not a predictor of outcome. Tumors with no LVI and negative LNs behaved significantly less aggressively than tumors with both LVI and positive LNs (P<0.01). LVI status (independent of LN status) was not significantly associated with patient outcome, although approached significance (P=0.06). In conclusion, LVI is a prerequisite for LN metastasis; however, by itself is not sufficient to predict tumor aggressiveness, whereas over 50% of patients with positive LNs died of disease. Stratifying pattern C tumors into subgroups based on LVI and LN status could further determine treatment in patients with pattern C tumors.