Endoscopic ultrasound does not accurately assess pathologic stage of esophageal cancer after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy

Am Surg. 2000 Sep;66(9):827-31.


The accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) for initial staging of esophageal cancer is widely accepted. There is, however, considerable variability in the reported accuracy of EUS for restaging of esophageal neoplasms after neoadjuvant therapy. From June 1995 through December 1999, we prospectively studied a series of 26 patients who underwent neoadjuvant treatment for esophageal cancer and were subsequently restaged by EUS before resection. Twenty-four patients had adenocarcinoma (92%), and two patients had squamous cell carcinoma (8%). EUS correctly predicted tumor stage in seven of 26 patients for an overall accuracy of 27 per cent. EUS overestimated the depth of tumor penetration in 18 patients (69%) and underestimated depth of penetration in one patient (4%). Lymph nodes were correctly staged in 15 of 26 patients for an overall accuracy of 58 per cent. Levels of sensitivity for detecting N0 and N1 disease were 44 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. Patients with a complete pathologic response were staged as T4N1 (one patient), T3N1 (three patients), T3N0 (one patient), and T2N1 (two patients). EUS cannot distinguish tumor involvement of the esophageal wall and lymph nodes from the postinflammatory changes that characterize effective neoadjuvant treatment. EUS is of limited utility in guiding clinical decision making after neoadjuvant therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Decision Making
  • Endosonography*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Remission Induction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity