[en] In nuclear medicine, [F-18]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)FDG PET) and lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymphadenectomy (LM/SL) may significantly improve the staging of primary cervical cancers. Indeed, the disease progresses in a 'level by level' fashion to regional nodes through the lymphatic channels, and also to extra-nodal sites via the hematogenous stream. Additionally, the sub-optimal efficacy of routine radiological protocols, while new combined therapies are proving to be more efficient, stresses the need for alternative staging procedures. Current data suggest that LM/SL accurately reflects the regional lymph node status in early stage cervical cancers, and thus could avoid unnecessary complete lymphadenectomies. Also, whole body (18)FDG PET may provide valuable insights on extra-pelvic and distant tumor spreading, with a significant impact on treatment choices. If these promising results are confirmed on large controlled trials, LM/SL and (18)FDG PET imaging could be incorporated in the routine staging work-up of primary cervical cancers. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.