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We aim to examine the predictive effect of the total number of examined lymph nodes on N stage and survival in pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs) and to determine the optimal threshold.A pNENs data set from 2004 to 2013 was extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result database. Multivariate logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards model were used to identify predictive factors associated with N stage and survival, respectively.Totally, 1280 pNENs were analyzed. The 11 to 15 lymph nodes examined showed a strong association with the N1 stage (6–10 vs 11–15: odds ratio, 0.672; P = 0.042; 11–15 vs 16–20: odds ratio, 1.049; P = 0.840). However, it failed to show any survival benefit in pNENs with or without lymph node metastasis.Examining at least 11 lymph nodes may be useful to accurately classify the N stage for pNENs.