Background and Objectives: Trachelectomy, a fertility-sparing surgery for early-stage cervical cancer, can be performed only when there is no extrauterine extension present. Therefore, identifying the sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) and using them to obtain an intraoperative pathologic diagnosis can provide information on the feasibility and safety of trachelectomy. Our aim was to assess the value of an intraoperative SLN diagnosis. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the accuracy of intraoperative imprint cytology and frozen-section examination in 201 patients at our institution in whom trachelectomy was planned. Results: All patients could be evaluated for SLNs; a total of 610 SLNs were analyzed. Although the specificity of both imprint cytology and frozen-section examination was 100.0%, the sensitivity was only 58.6 and 65.5%, respectively. The diagnostic sensitivity was higher in 2-mm slices along the short axis than on bisection along the longitudinal axis. Imprint cytology correctly diagnosed 2 patients who had false-negative results on frozen section. The nature of the metastatic foci that caused an intraoperative false-negative diagnosis was either micrometastasis or isolated tumor cells. Conclusions: The accuracy of intraoperative SLN diagnosis requires improvement, especially when small metastatic foci are present.
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