Medline: 1500014

Gynecologic Oncology 46(2): 145-149, 1992.

Positive peritoneal cytology is an adverse factor in endometrial carcinoma only if there is other evidence of extrauterine disease.

Kadar N, Homesley HD, Malfetano JH


The prognostic significance of peritoneal cytology among 269 women with clinical stage I and II carcinoma of the endometrium was studied. All patients were surgically staged and had undergone selective pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomies. Patients with clear cell and papillary serous carcinomas were excluded from the analysis. Thirty-four (12.6%) patients had malignant cells in the peritoneal washings (positive peritoneal cytology). The effect of positive peritoneal cytology on survival depended upon the extent of disease present. If the disease was confined to the uterus, positive peritoneal cytology did not influence survival; if the disease had spread to the adnexa, lymph nodes, or peritoneum, positive peritoneal cytology had a significant adverse effect on survival, decreasing it at 5 years from 73 to 13%, all recurrences being at distant sites. These findings suggest that treatment specifically directed at positive peritoneal cytology is not warranted unless extrauterine disease is present, and when it is, systemic rather than intra-abdominal treatment will be required to affect survival.

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