Methods: A total of 112 consecutive patients who underwent operations for GBC with LN dissection were analyzed. Twenty-five patients (22.3 %) had D1 dissection (hepatic pedicle), and 87 (77.7 %) had D2 dissection (hepatic pedicle, celiac and retro-pancreatic area). The LN ratio (LNR) was computed as follows: number of metastatic LNs/number of retrieved LNs.
Results: The median number of retrieved LNs was 7 (1–35). Fifty-nine patients (52.7 %) had LN metastases (22 N2). D2 dissection allowed the retrieval of more LNs (8 vs. 3, p = 0.0007), with similar short-term outcomes. Common bile duct (CBD) resection (n = 41) did not increase the number of retrieved LNs. In five patients, D2 dissection identified skip LN metastases that otherwise would have been missed. LN metastases negatively impacted survival (5-years survival 57.2 % if N0 vs. 12.4 % if N+, p 0.15 (multivariate analysis p = 0.007).
Background: Lymph node (LN) status is one of the strongest prognostic factors after gallbladder cancer (GBC) resection. The adequate extension of LN dissection and the stratification of the prognosis in N+ patients have been debated. The present study aims to clarify these issues.
Conclusions: A D2 LN dissection is recommended in all patients, because it allows for better staging. CBD resection does not improve LN dissection. An LNR = 0.15, not the site of metastatic LNs, stratified the prognoses of N+ patients.
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