Lymphadenectomy in Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases Resection: Incidence of Hilar Limph Nodes Micrometastasis

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Background:Liver resection is considered the best treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. Several prognostic factors have been investigated, and many studies have shown that hepatic hilum lymph nodes involvement has a negative impact on prognosis. The present study evaluated the frequency of microscopic involvement of hilar lymph nodes, through systematic lymphadenectomy and analysis of micrometastases in patients undergoing hepatectomy due to colorectal metastasis.Methods:A total of 28 patients underwent hepatic resection with hilar lymphadenectomy. Lymph nodes considered negative by conventional hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining were analyzed by serial sectioning with 100-μm intervals and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with antihuman pancytokeratin antibody AE1/AE3.Results:In average, 6.18 lymph nodes were dissected per patient. No morbidity or mortality was associated to lymphadenectomy. In two patients, conventional H&E analysis showed presence of microscopic lymph node metastasis. IHC analysis allowed the identification of three other patients with lymph node micrometastases. The overall frequency of microscopic metastases, including micrometastasis, was 18%.Conclusions:Systematic lymphadenectomy allowed the detection of microscopic lymph node metastases, resulting in more accurate staging of extrahepatic disease. The inclusion of IHC increased the detection of lymph node micrometastasis.

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