Survival following operative management of gastric linitis plastica compared with non-operative management

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Linitis plastica (LP) is a particular subtype of diffuse gastric cancer and is thought to have a very poor prognosis. The operative approach in patients with LP has historically been questioned because of the poor outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine the current outcomes in LP patients who undergo radical resection.


Patients with a new diagnosis of diffuse gastric adenocarcinoma between 2006 and 2010 were identified from a regional pathology database. LP was diagnosed based on histological, radiological and endoscopic findings. The patients’ health records were analysed retrospectively and mortality data obtained from a regional cancer registry. The primary outcome assessed was overall survival.


Overall, 273 patients with diffuse gastric cancer were identified; 54 of these were diagnosed with LP. In the LP cohort, 17 patients underwent resection compared with 95 of the 219 patients in the non-LP group. The median survival following resection in patients with LP was 16.7 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.3-25.1) while in LP patients who did not have surgery it was 3.6 months (95% CI: 2.2-4.9 months) (p<0.001). There was no significant difference in survival following resection between those with LP and those with non-LP diffuse gastric adenocarcinoma (median: 23.9 months, 95% CI: 15.8-32.1 months) (p=0.331).


Survival following resection in patients with LP is not significantly different to that in those with non-LP diffuse gastric cancer. A preoperative diagnosis of LP should not be a reason for denying radical treatment and such individuals should be managed in the same way as any other patient with diffuse gastric cancer.

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