Lymph node metastasis in early gastric cancer with submucosal invasion: feasibility of minimally invasive surgery

World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Dec 15;10(24):3549-52. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i24.3549.


Aim: To explore the feasibility of performing minimally invasive surgery (MIS) on subsets of submucosal gastric cancers that are unlikely to have regional lymph node metastasis.

Methods: A total of 105 patients underwent radical gastrectomy with lymph node dissection for submucosal gastric cancer at our hospital from January 1995 to December 1995. Besides investigating many clinicopathological features such as tumor size, gross appearance, and differentiation, we measured the depth of invasion into submucosa minutely and analyzed the clinicopathologic features of these patients regarding lymph node metastasis.

Results: The rate of lymph node metastasis in cases where the depth of invasion was <500 microm, 500-2000 microm, or >2000 microm was 9% (2/23), 19% (7/36), and 33% (15/46), respectively (P<0.05). In univariate analysis, no significant correlation was found between lymph node metastasis and clinicopathological characteristics such as age, sex, tumor location, gross appearance, tumor differentiation, Lauren's classification, and lymphatic invasion. In multivariate analysis, tumor size (>4 cm vs <=2 cm, odds ratio = 4.80, P = 0.04) and depth of invasion (>2000 microm vs <=500 microm, odds ratio = 6.81, P = 0.02) were significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis. Combining the depth and size in cases where the depth of invasion was less than 500 microm, we found that lymph node metastasis occurred where the tumor size was greater than 4 cm. In cases where the tumor size was less than 2 cm, lymph node metastasis was found only where the depth of tumor invasion was more than 2000 microm.

Conclusion: MIS can be applied to submucosal gastric cancer that is less than 2 cm in size and 500 microm in depth.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / surgery
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*