The presence of lymph nodal metastases in the patients affected with carcinoma of the uterine cervix is of the utmost clinical relevance. In the Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments of Pavia University we have evaluated the accuracy of lymphangiography and CT in recognizing lymph nodal metastases in 95 patients, 58 of them evaluated preoperatively (49 subsequently submitted to radical hysterectomy). CT accuracy was also evaluated in 37 patients with a clinically suspected relapse of cervical cancer. In the first group the overall results were: 91% accuracy, 88% sensitivity, 92.5% specificity for lymphangiography and 87.9% accuracy, 72.2% sensitivity, and 95% specificity for CT (in 49 patients, stage I-II, submitted to lymphadenectomy, lymphangiographic accuracy was 91%, sensitivity was 88%, specificity 92% versus CT accuracy 85.7%, 44.4% sensitivity, and 95% specificity). In the second group (relapse) CT accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were 94%, 100%, and 91%, respectively. In conclusion, lymphangiography gives better results than CT in the patients with early stages (I-II) of the disease. In advanced stages and relapses CT was found to have high accuracy in demonstrating lymph node status. This information is useful for treatment planning and for avoiding unnecessary surgical exploration.
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