Lymphatic drainage pathways from the cervix uteri: Implications for radical hysterectomy?

Anne C. Kraima, M Derks, Noeska Natasja Smit, J.C. van Munsteren, J van der Velden, G G Kenter, Marco C. Deruiter
Gynecologic Oncology, page - - nov 2013
Download the publication : KDSVVKD13.pdf [3.1Mo]  
Radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy is the treatment of choice for early-stage cervical cancer. Wertheim's original technique has been often modified, mainly in the extent of parametrectomy. Okabayashi's technique is considered as the most radical variant regarding removal of the ventral parametrium and paracolpal tissues. Surgical outcome concerning recurrence and survival is good, but morbidity is high due to autonomic nerve damage. While the autonomic network has been studied extensively, the lymphatic system is less understood. This study describes the lymphatic drainage pathways of the cervix uteri and specifically the presence of lymphatics in the vesico-uterine ligament (VUL). A developmental series of 10 human female fetal pelves was studied. Paraffin embedded blocks were sliced in transverse sections of 8 or 10 Ám. Analysis was performed by staining with antibodies against LYVE-1 (lymphatic endothelium), S100 (Schwann cells), alpha-Smooth Muscle Actin (smooth muscle cells) and CD68 (macrophages). The results were three-dimensionally represented. Two major pathways drained the cervix uteri: a supra-ureteral pathway, running in the cardinal ligament superior to the ureter, and a dorsal pathway, running in the utero-sacral ligament towards the rectal pillars. No lymph vessels draining the cervix uteri were detected in the VUL. In the paracolpal parametrium lymph vessels draining the upper vagina fused with those from the bladder. The VUL does not contain lymphatics from the cervix uteri. Hence, the favorable survival outcomes of the Okabayashi technique cannot be explained by radical removal of lymphatic pathways in the ventrocaudal parametrium.

Images and movies


See also

DOI address.

BibTex references

@Article { KDSVVKD13,
  author       = "Kraima, Anne C. and Derks, M and Smit, Noeska Natasja and Munsteren, J.C. van  and Velden, J van der  and
                  Kenter, G G and Deruiter, Marco C.",
  title        = "Lymphatic drainage pathways from the cervix uteri: Implications for radical hysterectomy?",
  journal      = "Gynecologic Oncology",
  pages        = "-",
  month        = "nov",
  year         = "2013",
  note         = "In press",
  keywords     = "Cervical cancer, Radical hysterectomy, Lymphatic drainage pathways, Parametrium, Vesicouterine ligament, Utero-sacral ligament",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Anne C. Kraima
» M Derks
» Noeska Natasja Smit
» J.C. van Munsteren
» G G Kenter
» Marco C. Deruiter