[Superextended lymphadenectomy (D4) in the treatment of gastric adenocarcinoma]

A Di Leo, C Pedrazzani, M Bonfiglio, G Borzellino, G Zerman, S Tasselli, G De Manzoni
Minerva Chirurgica 2002, 57 (5): 641-7

BACKGROUND: The incidence of paraaortic lymph node metastasis (N4) in relation with the site of the tumour, and survival in patients with gastric cancer who underwent gastric resection and superextended lymphadenectomy (D4), have been analyzed.

METHODS: The frequency of paraaortic lymph node metastasis was studied in 132 patients who underwent gastrectomy with D4 lymphadenectomy during the period June 1988 - December 2000. Six patients with plastic linitis and 3 with carcinoma of the gastric stump were excluded from the analysis.

RESULTS: In personal experience the most frequent postoperative morbidity were respiratory complication (7.6%) and pancreatic fistula (6.8%). Among the 132 patients the total number of dissected nodes was 6362 and the mean number of dissected nodes per case was 48.2. The total number of retrieved lymph nodes from the paraaortic station was 755 with a mean number 5.7 per patients. N4 nodal involvement was found in 25 (19%) of 132 patients: 14 (36%) patients with carcinoma located in the proximal third, 5 (13%) with tumour located in the middle third and 6 (11%) with carcinoma of the distal third of the stomach. The median survival time and the overall cumulative 5-year survival rate for curatively (R0) resected patients were 74 months and 52% respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of metastasis in paraaortic lymph nodes in 19% of our patients, the low morbidity and mortality, the good survival after superextended lymphadenectomy, suggest that this lymphadenectomy should be considered in the curative surgical treatment of advanced gastric cancer, especially if located in the proximal third of the stomach (N4 in 36% of cases).

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