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Gynecol Oncol. 1991 Feb;40(2):103-6.

Patterns of pelvic and paraaortic lymph node involvement in ovarian cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Graz, Austria.


One hundred eighty patients with ovarian cancer underwent complete pelvic lymphadenectomy (n = 75) or pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy (n = 105). Twenty-one patients underwent a preoperative biopsy of the scalene lymph nodes. The incidence of positive lymph nodes was 24% in stage I (n = 37), 50% in stage II (n = 14), 74% in stage III (n = 114), and 73% in stage IV (n = 15). Of the 105 patients who underwent pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy, 13 (12%) had positive pelvic and negative paraaortic nodes and 10 (9%) had positive paraaortic and negative pelvic nodes. Positive scalene nodes were found in four patients (19%) later shown to have stage IV disease. One hundred forty patients were studied for number of involved nodes and node groups, size of nodal metastases, residual tumor, and survival. Of the 81 patients with positive nodes, most had only one or two positive node groups or one to three positive individual nodes. A few patients had seven to eight involved node groups with up to 44 positive nodes. Greater numbers of positive nodes were found in stage III than stage IV. The size of the largest nodal metastasis was not related to the clinical stage or survival, but did correlate with the number of positive nodes. Stage III patients with no residual tumor had a significantly lower rate of lymph node involvement than those with tumor residual (P less than 0.01). Actuarial 5-year survival rates of patients with stage III disease and no, one, or more than one positive nodes were 69, 58, and 28%, respectively.

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