Survival benefit of high ligation of the inferior mesenteric artery in sigmoid colon or rectal cancer surgery

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Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) root nodal dissection before high ligation of the artery on survival in patients with sigmoid colon or rectal cancer.

Methods

Data on 1188 consecutive patients who underwent resection for sigmoid colon or rectal cancer, with high ligation of the IMA, were identified from a prospective database (April 1965 to December 1999). Survival of patients with involvement of nodes along the IMA proximal to the origin of the left colic artery (root nodes, station 253) through the bifurcation of the superior rectal artery (trunk nodes, station 252) was determined.

Results

Twenty patients (1·7 per cent) had metastatic involvement of station 253 lymph nodes and 99 (8·3 per cent) had metastases to station 252. The 5- and 10-year survival rates of patients with metastases to station 253 were 40 and 21 per cent, and those for patients with metastases to station 252 were 50 and 35 per cent, respectively.

Conclusion

High ligation of the IMA allows curative resection and long-term survival in patients with cancer of the sigmoid colon or rectum and nodal metastases at the origin of the IMA.

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