The value of intraoperative imprint cytology in the assessment of lymph node status in gastric cancer surgery
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The intraoperative assessment of lymph node status is important when performing limited surgery in gastric cancer patients. Currently available techniques for this assessment are frozen section, imprint cytology, and other molecular methods; most current studies use the frozen-section method. In the present study, we focused on the accuracy and feasibility of imprint cytology as a tool to assess lymph node status intraoperatively in gastric cancer surgery.
Between April 2001 and March 2003, we performed imprint cytology of the sentinel nodes in 260 consecutive patients. After review by an experienced cytopathologist, the sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy of the method were determined.
The time required for the intraoperative imprint cytology was 8 min, and the sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy were 52.2%, 88.8%, and 73.8%, respectively.
Imprint cytology could be a useful technique for the assessment of lymph node status intraoperatively if the sensitivity and specificity can be improved to an acceptable level.
Key wordsGastric cancer Cytodiagnosis Intraoperative Sentinel lymph node biopsy Lymphatic metastasis