Lymphangiogenesis in Esophageal Adenocarcinomas--Lymphatic Vessel Density as Prognostic Marker in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

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We studied tumor lymphatic vascular density (LVD) as a predictive marker for the risk of lymph node (LN) metastasis and its relationship to other prognostic parameters and survival in 75 patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma. Samples were immunostained for D2-40, CD31, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Microvessels were counted in densely vascular/lymphatic foci (hot spots) at ×400 field (0.17 mm2). Intensity of staining for VEGF was scored on a 2-tiered scale. CD31 microvessel counts showed significant correlation with tumor stage and patient survival (P < .01). D2-40 LVD demonstrated a significant correlation with LN metastases, lymphovascular invasion, and tumor stage (r = 0.45, r = 0.47, and r = 0.37, respectively) and with shorter disease-free survival. D2-40 detected lymphovascular invasion in 29 of 75 cases, more than with CD31 (23/75) and H&E (18/75). VEGF was expressed in 48 (64%) of 75 cases and was significantly correlated with lymphovascular invasion, LN metastases, and overall survival. Our study showed that angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis have important roles in the progression of esophageal adenocarcinoma.

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