Original Communications| Volume 129, ISSUE 6, P677-683, June 2001

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Prognostic significance of lymph node involvement in middle and distal bile duct cancer


      Background. Although lymph node involvement is considered an important prognostic factor, a detailed analysis has not been conducted in middle (Bm) and distal (Bi) bile duct cancer. Methods. The histopathology of resections taken from 59 patients with Bm and Bi disease (Bm, 33 patients; Bi, 26 patients) was examined. The prevalence of lymph node involvement and its relationship to recurrence and prognosis were investigated. Survival rates were investigated according to the number of metastatic lymph nodes found, the TNM nodal stages, and the nodal stage classifications of The General Rules of the Japanese Society of Biliary Surgery. Results. The frequency of nodal involvement in Bm and Bi was 45.5% and 30.8%, respectively. A significant correlation existed between a patient's prognosis and his TNM nodal stage, Japanese Society of Biliary Surgery nodal stage, and the number of metastatic lymph nodes found (P <.0001, respectively). Among 8 sites of postoperative recurrence, metastasis occurred most frequently in the liver (16/23). Patients with nodal involvement had a significantly higher rate of liver metastasis (10/23) than those without it (6/36) (P =.024). Conclusions. The number of metastatic lymph nodes found in patients with Bm or Bi cancer, and the nodal stage of their nodes, are significant prognostic indicators. Patients with nodal involvement are at high risk for liver metastasis in Bm and Bi disease.(Surgery 2001;129:677-83.)
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