Objective: To assess the clinical use of a laparoscopic ultrasound scan (LUS) to identify pelvic and para-aortic node metastasis in patients with advanced-stage cervical cancer. Methods: After examination under general anesthesia and cystoscopy, LUS was used to examine the pelvic nodes of patients with advanced-stage cervical cancer. Abnormal nodes were excised before definitive treatment to confirm the nodal status. Patients without abnormal para-aortic nodes on preoperative computer tomography/magnetic resonance imaging in the past 3 years were surgically staged via laparoscopic extraperitoneal aortic node sampling, and the findings were correlated with LUS findings. The predictive values of abnormal pelvic nodes on LUS for pelvic and aortic node metastasis were determined. Results: A total of 119 advanced-stage cervical cancer patients underwent LUS of pelvic nodes. Abnormal pelvic nodes were found in 62 (52.1%) patients, and metastasis was confirmed by histology in 38 (31.9%) patients. Three patients had micro-metastasis in para-aortic nodes, and all of these patients had abnormal pelvic lymph nodes on LUS. Conclusion: Abnormal pelvic nodes are commonly found on LUS in patients with advanced-stage cervical cancer, and selective excision biopsy is needed to confirm pelvic node metastasis. Surgical staging of aortic nodes might be considered for patients with abnormal pelvic nodes on LUS. © 2010 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
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