Case Report

Laparoscopic Approach To Obturator Lymph Node Positivity in Positron Emission Tomography Assisted Computerized Tomography (PET-CT) of a Preoperative Stage 1B1 Cervical Cancer Patient

  • Ahmet Cem İyibozkurt
  • Özlem Çınar Dural
  • Samet Topuz
  • Selen Gürsoy
  • Ayşe Filiz Gökmen
  • Sinan Berkman

Turk J Obstet Gynecol 2008;5(4):269-273


Although positron emission tomography assisted computerized tomography (PET-CT) is used to evaluate staging, treatment planning and prognosis in cervical cancer, its definite role is not established. It is especially used to rule out lymph node and distant metastasis in early stage cervical cancer patients who are candidates for radical hysterectomy. Recent literature suggests that by doing so unnecessary surgery, in patients who will ultimately require radiotherapy, would be prevented. We are presenting a case of cervical cancer patient preoperatively staged as 1B1 but revealed a lymph node positivity in PET-CT scan in left obturator fossa. She had a laparoscopic lymph node dissection and frozen section.


University clinic.


A 52-year-old postmenopausal woman with a complaint of frequent spotting was diagnosed to have stage 1B1 squamous carcinoma of the cervix of 1.5 cm in diameter. Her preoperative PET-CT revealed a positivity in left obturator fossa suggesting metastasis in addition to cervical uptake. She was planned to have a radical hysterectomy if laparoscopic lymph node dissection and frozen section were negative for malignancy. Intra-operative frozen section of a 1 cm lymph node from the left obturator fossa was positive for metastasis. The decision of radical hysterectomy was abandoned and she was referred to concomitant chemoradiotherapy. Interestingly, her final pathology revealed an additional microscopic metastasis in one of right pelvic lymph nodes that was sampled during the operation.


If PET-CT scan is negative for lymph node metastasis, these patients have low risk for postoperative radiotherapy after radical hysterectomy. In accordance with current literature, microscopic lymph node metastasis may not be revealed by PETCT, as it was in our case. If PET-CT reveals metastatic uptake, laparoscopic lymph node sampling and frozen section may be helpful in confirming metastatic disease. PET-CT seems to be beneficial in planning therapy preoperatively in cervical cancer.

Keywords: cervical cancer, laparoscopy, positron emission tomography