Preoperative knowledge of the depth of myometrial infiltration is important in patients with endometrial carcinoma. This study aimed at assessing the value of histopathological parameters obtained from an endometrial biopsy (Pipelle® de Cornier; results available preoperatively) and ultrasound measurements obtained after transvaginal sonography with color Doppler imaging in the preoperative prediction of the depth of myometrial invasion, as determined by the final histopathological examination of the hysterectomy specimen (the gold standard).
We first collected ultrasound and histopathological data from 97 consecutive women with endometrial carcinoma and divided them into two groups according to surgical stage (Stages Ia and Ib vs. Stages Ic and higher). The areas (AUC) under the receiver–operating characteristics curves of the subjective assessment of depth of invasion by an experienced gynecologist and of the individual ultrasound parameters were calculated. Subsequently, we used these variables to train a logistic regression model and least squares support vector machines (LS-SVM) with linear and RBF (radial basis function) kernels. Finally, these models were validated prospectively on data from 76 new patients in order to make a preoperative prediction of the depth of invasion.
Of all ultrasound parameters, the ratio of the endometrial and uterine volumes had the largest AUC (78%), while that of the subjective assessment was 79%. The AUCs of the blood flow indices were low (range, 51–64%). Stepwise logistic regression selected the degree of differentiation, the number of fibroids, the endometrial thickness and the volume of the tumor. Compared with the AUC of the subjective assessment (72%), prospective evaluation of the mathematical models resulted in a higher AUC for the LS-SVM model with an RBF kernel (77%), but this difference was not significant.
Single morphological parameters do not improve the predictive power when compared with the subjective assessment of depth of myometrial invasion of endometrial cancer, and blood flow indices do not contribute to the prediction of stage. In this study an LS-SVM model with an RBF kernel gave the best prediction; while this might be more reliable than subjective assessment, confirmation by larger prospective studies is required. Copyright © 2006 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.