Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Sentinel lymph node detection in endometrial cancer with indocyanine green: laparoscopic versus robotic approach

N. Bizzarri 1, S. Restaino 1, S. Gueli Alletti 1, G. Monterossi 1, A. Gioè 1, E. La Fera 1, V. Gallotta 1, A. Fagotti 1,2, G. Scambia 1,2, F. Fanfani 1,2

1 Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, IRCCS, UOC Ginecologia Oncologica, Dipartimento per la salute della Donna e del Bambino e della Salute Pubblica, Largo Agostino Gemelli 8, 00168, Rome, Italy;
2 Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168, Rome, Italy.


Endometrial cancer, Sentinel lymph node, Robotic surgery, Laparoscopy, Indocyanine green, minimally invasive surgery

Published online: Mar 31 2021


Background: The aims of the present study were to assess bilateral sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping with laparoscopic versus robotic approach, to assess variables affecting bilateral detection rates and to assess survival difference in patients with no/unilateral, compared to bilateral SLN detection.

Methods: This is a retrospective, single-centre, observational cohort study, including patients with endometrial cancer FIGO stage IA-IVB, treated with minimally invasive primary surgery and undergoing indocyanine green (ICG) injection to detect SLN, between January 2015 and December 2019.

Results: Of the 549 included patients, 286 (52.1%) and 263 (47.9%) underwent the laparoscopic and robotic approach respectively. 387 (70.5%) patients had bilateral SLN mapping, 102 (18.6%) and 60 (10.9%) had unilateral and no mapping, respectively. Patients who underwent the robotic approach were older (median 61 versus 64 years, p=0.046) and had a higher BMI (median 26.0 versus 34.8 kg/m2, p<0.001). No difference in any SLN mapping or in SLN bilateral detection was evident between the laparoscopic or robotic approach (p=0.892 and p=0.507 respectively). Patients with bilateral SLN detection in the entire cohort were younger (p<0.001) and had a better 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) compared to patients with no/unilateral SLN mapping (77.0% versus 66.3%, respectively, p=0.036). No 3-year overall survival (OS) difference was reported (p=0.491).

Conclusion: SLN mapping and bilateral SLN detection with ICG in endometrial cancer was not different in the laparoscopic and robotic approach, even though patients undergoing the robotic approach were older and more obese. Bilateral SLN detection was associated with improved 3-year DFS, but not with 3-year OS, compared to no and unilateral SLN detection.