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J Urol. 2005 Dec;174(6):2181-5.

Lymphovascular invasion is an independent prognostic factor in prostatic adenocarcinoma.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Medical Center, University Hospital 3465, 550 North University Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.



Gleason grade and tumor stage are well established prognostic factors in prostate cancer. Histological demonstration of tumor in lymphovascular spaces has been associated with poor prognosis in many tumor types but it is not included in current prostate cancer grading and staging schemes. Whether lymphovascular invasion is an independent prognostic factor for disease progression in prostate cancer is uncertain. We retrospectively investigated lymphovascular invasion as a predictive factor for biochemical failure and cancer specific survival following radical prostatectomy.


The records of 504 patients with prostatic adenocarcinoma undergoing radical prostatectomy were reviewed for lymphovascular invasion. Clinical followup data were available on 459 cases. Mean followup was 44 months (range 1.5 to 144). Multivariate analysis was performed using the Cox model.


Lymphovascular invasion was identified in 106 cases (21%). Univariate analysis showed a significant association between lymphovascular invasion and higher preoperative serum prostate specific antigen (PSA), advanced pathological stage, higher Gleason score, positive surgical margins, extraprostatic extension, seminal vesicle invasion, lymph node metastasis and perineural invasion (each p <0.001). No association was observed between lymphovascular invasion and patient age at surgery, prostate weight or high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Lymphovascular invasion was an independent predictor of PSA recurrence (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.38, p = 0.01) and cancer specific survival (HR 2.75, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.28, p = 0.041) after controlling for tumor stage, surgical margins and Gleason grade on multivariate analysis. Five-year cancer specific survival was 90% in men with lymphovascular invasion compared to 98% in those without lymphovascular invasion (p <0.001).


Lymphovascular invasion can be identified in approximately 20% of prostate cancer cases. Lymphovascular invasion is an independent risk factor for PSA recurrence and cancer death in patients with prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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