Lymph node examination and survival in resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: retrospective study

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Goess R., Jaeger C., Perinel J., Pergolini I., Demir E., Safak O., ...More

BJS OPEN, no.1, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/bjsopen/zrad125
  • Journal Name: BJS OPEN
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


Background The minimum number of examined lymph nodes (ELN) required for adequate staging and best prediction of survival has not been established in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of ELN on staging and survival in PDAC. Methods Patients undergoing partial or total pancreatectomy for PDAC at two European university hospitals between 2007 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Multivariate Cox regression model and survival analyses were performed to verify adequate staging. Results Overall 341 (73 per cent) patients showed lymph node metastasis (N1/N2), whereas 125 (27 per cent) patients had no lymph node involvement (N0). With increasing number of ELN, the proportion of positive lymph nodes increased. The minimum number of ELN needed to detect lymph node involvement was 21. In multivariate analysis, examination of <21 lymph nodes was a significant negative predictor for survival. Examination of >= 21 ELN reversed this effect and ruled out possible misclassification. Conclusion The number of ELN affects survival in PDAC. Possible misclassification was identified when <21 lymph nodes were examined. Therefore, at least 21 lymph nodes must be examined to avoid false lymph node classification in all types of resection.