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Optimal sampling of pelvic lymphadenectomy specimens following radical prostatectomy: is complete tissue submission justified?


There is currently no consensus among pathologists on the optimal method of sampling pelvic lympadenectomy specimens (PLND) in prostate cancer. We evaluated the impact of complete PLND submission on lymph node (LN) yield, detection of metastasis and laboratory workload in a series of 141 cases. Following isolation of grossly identifiable LNs/potential LNs, the remaining fatty tissue was embedded in toto. Complete PLND submission increased median LN yield from 10 (1–42) to 17 (3–57). Metastatic deposits were identified in nine non-palpable LNs, which altered the pN category in four cases (3%). The primary tumour (pT) was grade group ≥3 and/or pT3 at radical prostatectomy in 96% of pN+ cases. A median of seven additional blocks (1–28) was required for complete tissue embedding. Our findings indicate that submission of the entire fat can optimise PLND assessment but has a significant impact on laboratory workload. Complete submission of selected high-risk cases may be a reasonable alternative.

  • lymph node
  • lymphadenectomy
  • prostate cancer

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