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J Urol. 2004 Jan;171(1):139-44.

Extended radical lymphadenectomy in patients with urothelial bladder cancer: results of a prospective multicenter study.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg,



Previous studies demonstrate a positive correlation between postoperative survival and the extent of pelvic lymphadenectomies in patients with bladder cancer. However, the distribution of nodal metastases has not been examined in sufficient detail. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive prospective analysis of lymph node metastases to obtain precise knowledge about the pattern of lymphatic tumor spread.


Between 1999 and 2002 we performed 290 radical cystectomies and extended lymphadenectomies. Cranial border of the lymphadenectomy was the level of the inferior mesenteric artery, lateral border was the genitofemoral nerve and caudal border was the pelvic floor. We made every effort to excise and examine microscopically all lymph nodes from 12 well-defined anatomical locations.


Mean total number and standard deviation of lymph nodes removed was 43.1 +/- 16.1. Nodal metastases were present in 27.9% of patients. The percentage of metastases at different sites ranged from 14.1% (right obturator nodes) to 2.9% (right paracaval nodes above the aortic bifurcation). By studying cases of unilateral primary tumors or with only 1 metastasis we observed a preferred pattern of metastatic spread. However, there were many exceptions to the rule and we did not identify a well-defined sentinel lymph node.


We strongly recommend extended radical lymphadenectomy to all patients undergoing radical cystectomy for bladder cancer to remove all metastatic tumor deposits completely. The operation can be conducted in routine clinical practice and our data may serve as a guideline for future standardization and quality control of the procedure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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