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Diagnostic Laparoscopy and Abdominal Cytology Reliably Detect Peritoneal Metastases in Patients with Urachal Adenocarcinoma

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Urachal adenocarcinoma (UrAC) is a rare malignancy that can cause peritoneal metastases (PM). Analogous to other enteric malignancies, selected patients with limited PM of UrAC can be treated by cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS/HIPEC).


The aim of this study was to address the value of diagnostic laparoscopy (DLS) and abdominal cytology (ACyt) for the detection and evaluation of the extent of PM in patients with UrAC.


A consecutive series of cN0M0 patients with UrAC who underwent DLS with or without ACyt at a tertiary referral center between 2000 and 2018 was assessed. Patients were staged with computed tomography (CT) and/or positron emission tomography (PET)/CT or bone scan. DLS was performed to rule out PM and to evaluate the extent and resectability of PM if seen on imaging. Sensitivity and specificity values were calculated for imaging, DLS, ACyt, and the combination of DLS and ACyt.


Thirty-two patients with UrAC underwent DLS. ACyt was obtained in 19 patients. Four patients had suspicion of PM on imaging. In the 28 patients who were PM-negative on imaging, DLS and ACyt revealed PM in 6 (21%) patients, of whom 5 had macroscopically visible PM; 1 patient had positive ACyt without visible PM. Sensitivity of combined DLS/ACyt for the detection of PM was 91%, with a specificity of 100%, whereas sensitivity of imaging was 36%. DLS correctly predicted resectability in all patients.


Combined DLS/ACyt proved an effective tool to detect occult PM and to evaluate the extent of PM to select UrAC patients for possible treatment with CRS/HIPEC.

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Correspondence to Bas W. G. van Rhijn MD, PhD, FEBU.

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Laura E. Stokkel, Akash M. Mehta, Mark A. Behrendt, Jeroen de Jong, Elise M. Bekers, Kees Hendricksen, Arend G.J. Aalbers, Niels F.M. Kok, Wim Meinhardt, Laura S. Mertens, and Bas W.G van Rhijn have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Stokkel, L.E., Mehta, A.M., Behrendt, M.A. et al. Diagnostic Laparoscopy and Abdominal Cytology Reliably Detect Peritoneal Metastases in Patients with Urachal Adenocarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-08206-1

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