Detection of lymph node metastases in colorectal carcinoma

Colorectal Dis. 2001 Sep;3(5):288-94. doi: 10.1046/j.1463-1318.2001.00251.x.


The detection of lymph node metastases is the single most important prognostic factor for patients with colorectal cancer. This review outlines the difficulties and methods of detecting positive lymph node metastases in this disease. An outline of traditional diagnostic methods including preoperative ultrasound and cross sectional imaging techniques are evaluated alongside newer modalities including immunoscintography and PET scanning and intraoperative radioguided imaging. Pathological methods of detecting positive nodal disease using standard histopathological staging, enhanced lymph node harvesting and determination of micrometastases are also discussed.