- Purpose of investigation: To report the number and distribution of pelvic lymph nodes and to identify surgical pathologic factors that best predict positive pelvic lymph nodes in patients with early-stage cervical carcinoma treated with radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection (RHND). Methods: Data from the files of 126 patients with cervical carcinoma treated by RHND at the Soroka Medical Center from 1962 through 2005 were analyzed. Results: The status of pelvic lymph nodes was known in 114 patients. The exact number of lymph nodes removed from the pelvis of each patient was known in 111 patients. The mean number of lymph nodes removed from the pelvis per patient was 26.6 (median 23; range 1-62). Positive pelvic lymph nodes were found in 35 (30.7%) of the patients with a mean of 3.4 (median 2; range, 1-15) positive pelvic lymph nodes per patient. In a univariate analysis, positive lymph vascular space invasion and positive parametrial and/or paracervical involvement were significant predictors of positive pelvic lymph nodes, whereas penetration > 50% of the thickness of the cervical wall and grade 2+3 were of borderline significance. In a multivariate analysis, positive lymph vascular space invasion was the strongest and the only significant predictor of positive pelvic lymph nodes, whereas positive parametrial and/or paracervical involvement was of borderline significance. Conclusions: In patients with early-stage cervical carcinoma treated with RHND, positive lymph vascular space invasion emerged to be the strongest and most significant predictor of positive pelvic lymph nodes.