Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of preoperative imaging in the diagnosis of cardiophrenic lymph node (CPLN) metastases and to report perioperative outcomes after resection of CPLN at the time of cytoreductive surgery for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Furthermore, to assess clearance of CPLN by postoperative imaging.
Methods: All women with stage IIIC/IV EOC subjected to surgery at our institution from January 2014 to October 2016 were retrospectively identified from a database. Among these, women subjected to CPLN resection during surgery were identified. Pre- and postoperative computed tomography (CT) scans, pathology reports, surgical approach and outcomes were reviewed.
Results: One hundred and eighty women with stage IIIC/IV EOC subjected to surgery with curative intent were identified. Twenty-four (13%) of these women underwent CPLN resection. All had CT imaging suggestive of CPLN metastases. 20/24 (83%) had confirmed metastases upon final pathology. CPLN resection was associated with longer operation time, more often advanced upper abdominal surgery and more postoperative complications but there was no difference in days from surgery to initiation of chemotherapy. Postoperative CT was still indicative of CPLN metastases in 13/22 (59%) women despite resection with confirmative pathology.
Conclusions: Resection of CPLN metastases is highly feasible without considerable added morbidity. Concern regarding surgical clearance is raised since postoperative imaging was indicative of metastases in the majority of women. The prognostic significance of stage IV disease based exclusively on CPLN metastases is unclear and any survival benefit from the procedure is yet to be determined.