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Open Access Research article

Interstitial magnetic resonance lymphography is an effective diagnostic tool for the detection of lymph node metastases in patients with cervical cancer

Ying Hong123*, Luojun Xiang3, Yali Hu123, Zhengyang Zhou2, Haiping Yu2 and Bing Zhu2

Author Affiliations

1 Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 210008, China

2 Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, No.321 Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, 210008, China

3 Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210029, China

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:360  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-360

Published: 18 August 2012



The aim of the present study was to determine the feasibility of detecting sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastases using interstitial magnetic resonance (MR) lymphography in patients with cervical cancer. MR data were compared to pathological results from the lymph nodes excised during surgery.


Twenty-eight patients with cervical cancer were enrolled and studied from January 2006 to December 2010. All patients underwent interstitial MR lymphography to determine the presence of sentinel lymph nodes and visualize lymphatic vessel drainage in the pelvis. Radical hysterectomy and excision of pelvic lymph nodes was performed according to their lesion grade. Gadodiamide was injected either intradermally into the bipedal toe web, into the labia majora or into the cervical tissue. MR results were compared with pathological reports.


In 28 patients, lymphatic vessel drainage and lymph node groups were clearly visualized. Of these, 5 were MR lymphography positive and 23 were MR lymphography negative. Six had pathologically proven metastasis, five had true positives and 1 had a false negative in the obturator lymph node.


Interstitial MR lymphography can be used to determine the extent and shape of pelvic lymphatic vessel drainage and lymph node metastases in patients with cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer; Magnetic resonance (MR); Lymphography