Open versus laparoscopic portal lymphadenectomy in gallbladder cancer: is there a difference in lymph node yield?

HPB (Oxford). 2018 Jun;20(6):505-513. doi: 10.1016/j.hpb.2017.10.015. Epub 2018 Feb 19.


Background: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is the most common biliary tract malignancy. Because it commonly metastasizes via lymphatics, portal lymphadenectomy should be included in oncologic resections. This study aimed to compare the oncologic equivalence of the laparoscopic versus open technique by evaluating lymph node (LN) yield.

Methods: The 2010-2012 National Cancer Data Base identified patients who underwent laparoscopic or open resection of GBC with dedicated lymphadenectomy. LN yield was compared by resection method. Variables associated with LN yield ≥3 were identified.

Results: Of 1524 patients identified, 52% were intended to undergo laparoscopic surgery, with 20% of these patients converted to open. Collection of ≥3 LNs following open resection (47%) was higher than for laparoscopic resection (34%), p < 0.001. Operations performed at high-volume (aOR:1.74, p < 0.001) and/or academic centers (aOR:1.70, p = 0.024) had superior LN yield. LN yield was not associated with overall survival (aHR:0.93, p = 0.493).

Conclusions: In this analysis of national data, LN yield following laparoscopic resection for GBC was significantly lower than following open resection. Open resection is more frequently performed at academic centers, possibly to assure adequate oncologic resection. Enforcing consensus guidelines for lymphadenectomy in gallbladder cancer will optimize outcomes as minimally invasive approaches evolve.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Aged
  • Conversion to Open Surgery
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / mortality
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Hospitals, High-Volume
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Lymph Node Excision / adverse effects
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods*
  • Lymph Node Excision / mortality
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States