The treatment of lymph node metastasis from esophageal cancer by extensive lymphadenectomy
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During the period between 1965 and the end of 1988, 560 patients with esophageal cancer were surgically treated in our University hospital. In an attempt to improve patient survival, three-field lymphadenectomy of the bilateral neck, mediastinum and abdomen was performed in 117 patients treated since 1983. The present study was undertaken to reveal the substantial rate of lymph node metastasis in esophageal cancer and to decide if three-field lymphadenectomy is mandatory or not for surgery of esophageal cancer. Despite the increased radicality of the operation, the mortality and morbidity rates decreased in the 1980's compared to the earlier periods, the operative death being 12.5 per cent in the 1960's, vs. 2.0 per cent in the 1980's. Moreover, the mortality rate of the patients receiving the three-field lymphadenectomy was as low as 2.6 per cent. The metastatic rate of cervical nodes in the patients receiving three-field lymphadenectomy was 32.5 per cent, while that of mediastinal and abdominal nodes was 47.0 per cent and 46.0 per cent respectively. The metastatic rate in the mediastinum was high in the bilateral recurrent nerve lymph nodes, bifurcation nodes and paraesophageal nodes, while in the abdomen, it was high in the bilateral paracardial nodes. Recurrent nerve paralysis, which had been rarely seen was observed in 12.0 per cent of the patients. Metastasis from esophageal cancer is often seen in the cervical nodes, however, the clinical importance of three-field lymphadenectomy will be decided by the data of patient survival in the near future.
Key wordsesophageal cancer lymph node metastasis mortality lymphadenectomy
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