Appraisal of staging endoscopic ultrasonography in a modern high-volume esophageal program

Naoimh J O'Farrell, Vinod Malik, Claire L Donohoe, Ciaran Johnston, Cian Muldoon, John V Reynolds, Dermot O'Toole
World Journal of Surgery 2013, 37 (7): 1666-72

BACKGROUND: Accurate pretreatment staging is essential to decision making for patients with esophageal and junctional cancers, particularly when choosing endoscopic therapy or a multimodal approach. As the efficacy of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) has been reported as variable, we assessed it prospectively in a large cohort from a high-volume center.

METHODS: The EUS data from 2007 to 2011 were reviewed and analyzed. We conducted a comparative analysis with computed tomography-positron emission tomography (CT-PET) staging and pathology. Survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier testing on EUS-predicted T- and N-stage cohorts.

RESULTS: Altogether, 222 patients underwent EUS. Among patients undergoing primary surgical resection, preoperative EUS diagnosed the T stage correctly in 71 % (55/77) of cases. Sensitivity and specificity for T1, T2, and T3 tumors were 94 and 89 %, 55 and 80 %, and 66 and 93 %, respectively. Mean maximum standard uptake volume on CT-PET correlated moderately with the EUS T stage (r = 0.42, p < 0.0001). EUS accuracy for nodal disease was 65 %. Survival was statistically better for the EUS T1 group than for those with T3 tumors (p = 0.01). Nodal metastases diagnosed on EUS predicted a significantly worse prognosis than EUS-negative nodes on both univariate and multivariate analyses (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.005 respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant relation between EUS T and N stages and overall survival. EUS demonstrated 71 % accuracy for the overall T stage. Staging accuracy of EUS for large lesions was less effective than for T1 tumors, underlining the need for a multimodal investigative approach to stage esophageal tumors accurately.

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