Adequacy of lymph node retrieval for ampullary cancer and its association with improved staging and survival

Stefano Partelli, Stefano Crippa, Paola Capelli, Anna Neri, Claudio Bassi, Giuseppe Zamboni, Giuliano Barugola, Massimo Falconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of the present study was to determine the optimal number of lymph nodes (LN) examined to stage pN0 tumors after surgery for ampulla of Vater carcinoma (AVC). Methods: We reviewed retrospectively 127 patients with AVC who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (1990-2008). Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed. Results: Fifty-nine patients (46.5 %) were pN0, whereas 68 patients (53.5 %) were pN1. The 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) was worse for pN1 patients than for pN0 patients (46 vs. 77 %; P <0.0001). In the pN0 cohort, the optimal cut-off number of LN analyzed was found to be 12. The 5-year DSS for patients with ≤12 LN was 50 %, compared with 89 % in those with >12 LN (P = 0.001). By multivariate analysis, a LN count >12 was the only independent predictor associated with improved survival (HR 0.16, P = 0.003) among pN0 patients. Among pN1 patients, a LN count >12 was associated with a significantly better 5-year DSS (59 vs. 22 %; P = 0.027). Patients with a lymph node ratio (LNR) >0.20 had a 5-year DSS of 24 %, compared with 58 % in those with 0 <LNR ≤ 0.20 (P = 0.038). Conclusions: Removal of more than 12 LN for examination is associated with improved survival rate after surgery for AVC in both pN0 and pN1 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1404
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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