Surgery Today

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 607–619 | Cite as

Accuracy of sentinel node biopsy in esophageal carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the pertinent literature

  • Vahid Reza Dabbagh Kakhki
  • Reza Bagheri
  • Shahrzad Tehranian
  • Pardis Shojaei
  • Hassan Gholami
  • Ramin Sadeghi
  • David N. Krag
Review Article


The use of sentinel node surgery for esophageal carcinoma is still under investigation. We evaluated the data available in the literature on this topic, and herein present the results in a systematic review format. PUBMED, SCOPUS, the ISI web of knowledge and the information from the annual meetings of the Japan Esophageal Society were searched using the search terms: “(esophagus OR esophageal) AND sentinel”. The outcomes of interest were the detection rate and sensitivity. Overall, 18 studies were included. The pooled detection rate was 89.2 % [82.6–93.5]. Patients with T1 and two tumors had a 17 % higher detection rate compared to those with T3 and four tumors. The pooled sensitivity was 84 % [78–88 %]. The sensitivity was higher for adenocarcinoma compared to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (91 vs. 81 %). In the SCC patients, there was a trend toward decreased sensitivity associated with an increasing tumor depth (T1:88 %, T2:76 %, T3:50 %). Our analysis indicated that sentinel node biopsy is useful in adenocarcinoma patients. For SCC patients, including only cN0 patients (preferably T1 and 2) would increase the detection rate and sensitivity. Due to the limited number of high-quality studies, drawing any more definite conclusions is impossible. Large cohort studies with a standardized and consistent design will be needed in the future.


Esophagus Esophageal Sentinel False negative rate Detection rate Systematic review 



This study is derived from a residency thesis under the approval number of 89834, which was conducted in the Nuclear Medicine Research Center and Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Surgery Research Center of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahid Reza Dabbagh Kakhki
    • 1
  • Reza Bagheri
    • 2
  • Shahrzad Tehranian
    • 1
  • Pardis Shojaei
    • 1
  • Hassan Gholami
    • 3
  • Ramin Sadeghi
    • 1
  • David N. Krag
    • 4
  1. 1.Nuclear Medicine Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  2. 2.Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Surgery Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Evidence Based Medicine Committee, Meta-analysis Sub-committee, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, College of MedicineUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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