Video-assisted mediastinoscopic lymphadenectomy is associated with better survival than mediastinoscopy in patients with resected non–small cell lung cancer

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We aimed to analyze the accuracy of video-assisted mediastinoscopic lymphadenectomy (VAMLA) as a tool for preoperative staging and the impact of the technique on survival in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing pulmonary resection.


Between May 2006 and December 2010, 433 patients underwent pulmonary resection for NSCLC, 89 (21%) had VAMLA before resection and 344 (79%) had standard mediastinoscopy. The patients who had negative VAMLA/mediastinoscopy results underwent anatomic pulmonary resection and systematic lymph node dissection.


The median and mean numbers of resected lymph node stations were 5 and 4.9 in the VAMLA group and 4 and 4.2 in the mediastinoscopy group (P = .9). The mean number of lymph nodes per biopsy specimen using standard mediastinoscopy was 10.1, whereas it was 30.4 using VAMLA (P < .001). VAMLA unveiled N2 or N3 disease in 30 (33.7%) and in 6 (6.7%) of patients, respectively. The negative predictive value, sensitivity, false-negative value, and accuracy of VAMLA were statistically higher in the VAMLA groups compared with those of standard mediastinoscopy. The 5-year survival was 90% for VAMLA patients and 66% for mediastinoscopy patients (P = .01). By multivariable analysis, VAMLA was associated with better survival (odds ratio, 1.34; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.2; P = .02).


VAMLA was associated with improved survival in NSCLC patients who had resectional surgery.

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