Optimal Lymphadenectomy for Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the Thoracic Esophagus: Comparing the Short- and Long-term Outcome among the Four Types of Lymphadenectomy
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Controversy continues over the optimal extent of lymphadenectomy (regional versus three-field) for a potentially resectable squamous cell carcinoma in the thoracic esophagus. In the Consensus Conference of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE), held in Munich in 1994, the types of lymphadenectomy were classified as standard, extended, total, or three-field lymphadenectomy. The objective of the present study was to determine the optimal procedure among these four types of lymphadenectomy. The mortality and morbidity rates, postoperative course, and survival rates were compared among 302 patients who underwent curative (R0) transthoracic esophagectomy with one of these four types of lymphadenectomy at Kurume University Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan, from 1986 to 1998. Three-field lymphadenectomy resulted in better survival than any other type of lymphadenectomy for patients with positive lymph node metastasis from a cancer in the upper or middle thoracic esophagus. A postoperative complication, such as recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, anastomotic leakage, and tracheal ischemic lesion, was significantly more common after three-field lymphadenectomy. However, the mortality rate was the same among the four procedures. Three-field lymphadenectomy was optimal for an upper or middle thoracic esophageal cancer with metastasis in the lymph node(s) based on improved long-term survival, whereas there was not a large difference in short-term and long-term outcomes after the four types of lymphadenectomy for a lower thoracic esophageal cancer.
KeywordsSquamous Cell Carcinoma Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Thoracic Esophagus Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Paralysis Laryngeal Nerve Paralysis
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