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November 1992

Staging Laparoscopic Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection: Experience and Indications

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, St Louis (Mo) University School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1992;127(11):1294-1297. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420110036009

• Laparoscopic pelvic lymph node dissection has proven to be a reliable, less-invasive method for staging prostate cancer. Presently, no clear indications for its performance prior to radical retropubic prostatectomy are available. With the purpose of identifying clinical parameters by which to better select patients who would benefit from laparoscopic pelvic lymph node dissection, we chose to perform the procedure only in patients considered at high risk for nodal metastasis: clinical stages B2 or C, poorly differentiated tumors, and/or a serum prostatic-specific antigen level of more than 20 ng/dL. We compared the results with those of patients not meeting such parameters. Of 80 men receiving treatment for clinically localized disease, 30 (38%) fulfilled one or more of the criteria. When considering the individual clinical parameters, clinical stage was predictive of nodal involvement in five (26%) of 19 patients, grade was predictive in three (37.5%) of eight patients, and prostatic-specific antigen level was predictive in six (40%) of 15 patients. Statistical analysis confirmed that the prostatic-specific antigen level was the single best predictor of nodal involvement. However, better predictive values were obtained when the different criteria were combined. Nodal involvement was predicted most consistently by a combination of clinical stage and prostatic-specific antigen level.

(Arch Surg. 1992;127:1294-1297)

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