Long-term results after inferior vena caval resection during retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy for metastatic germ cell cancer

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The long-term sequelae of inferior vena caval (IVC) resection during retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell testis tumor (NSGCT) were assessed.


Between December 1973 and September 1996, 2126 of our patients underwent RPLND for retroperitoneal nodal metastases from NSGCT; 955 had bulky disease (stages B2, B3, or C) after cytoreduction chemotherapy. Of this latter group, 65 patients (6.8%) required infrarenal IVC resection during tumor excision for cure. Our protocol does not include IVC reconstruction in such cases. Indications for IVC resection included tumor encasement or encroachment, postchemotherapy desmoplastic compression, or thrombus with tumor or clot in which cavotomy and thrombectomy cannot be performed.


Twenty-four of the 65 patients (postoperative follow-up period range, 11 months to 16 years; median, 89 months) were alive and able to be examined or interviewed by written and/or phone survey to assess the long-term morbidity of their IVC resection. Based on the 1994 American Venous Forum International Consensus Committee reporting standards, the clinical classifications of these 24 patients were C0A (4), C3S (4), C4A (2), C4S (13), and C6A (1). Long-term disability was mild or absent in 75% of these patients.


Only 1 (4.2%) of the patients surveyed had chronic venous sequelae that would fulfill the accepted criteria for subsequent elective IVC reconstruction. Despite recent reports of IVC reconstruction demonstrating relatively good patency rates and low morbidity, the addition of such a complex, time-consuming procedure to extensive retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for metastatic NSGCT involving IVC resection is generally not necessary.

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