Anatomical and functional aspects of the lymphatic drainage of the uterine corpus in endometrial cancer are demonstrated. Main lymphatic pathway runs along the upper pelvic pathway from the uterine artery first line to the medial external iliac nodes, followed by the lateral external and common iliac node basin. The second important pathway runs along the ovarian vessels directly to the paraaortic nodes.

Pathways may visualized best by injection of indocyanine green (ICG) into the uterus. In contrast to the upper pelvic pathway visualized by cervical injection, the paraaortic drainage can only be marked by corporal injection. Lymphatic drainage works downstream (peripheral to central, with respect to vascular valves) only. Clinically, pelvic sentinel node excision replaced systematic lymphadenectomy for diagnostic purposes and even paraaortic node staging can be omitted in most of pelvic node negative patients. For therapeutic purposes compartmental resection of the uterus together with its lymphovascular system and first line nodes “en bloc” could be an option as performed in peritoneal mesometrial resection/targeted compartmental lymphadenctomy (PMMR/TCL).

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