Background: Cardiophrenic lymph nodes (CPLN) define FIGO stage IVB disease. We evaluate the pattern of CPLN metastases, their prognostic impact and the potential role of CPLN resection in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
Methods: Analysis of 595 consecutive patients with EOC treated in the period 01/2011-05/2016. CT scans were re-reviewed by two radiologists. Positive CPLN were defined as ≥5 mm in the short-axis diameter. The role of CPLN resection was evaluated in a case-control matched-pair analysis.
Results: Of 595 patients 458 had FIGO stage IIIB-IV disease. We excluded patients undergoing interval surgery (n = 54), without debulking surgery (n = 32) and without sufficient pre-operative imaging (n = 22), resulting in a study cohort of 350 patients. Of these, 133 (37.9%) had negative CPLN and 217 (62.0%) had radiologically positive CPLN. In patients with postoperative residual tumor, enlarged CPLN had no impact on survival. In patients with complete resection (n = 223), 98 (44.0%) had negative CPLN and a 5-year OS of 69% and a 5-year PFS of 41%; in contrast, in the 125 patients (56.0%) with positive CPLN, 5-year OS was 30% and 5-year PFS was 13%. In 52 patients we resected CPLN. The matched-pair case-control analysis did not demonstrate any significant impact on survival of CPLN resection.
Conclusion: CPLN metastases are associated with impaired PFS and OS in patients with macroscopically completely resected tumor. Intraabdominal residual tumor has a greater prognostic impact than positive CPLN. The impact of the resection of CPLN remains unclear.
Keywords: Cardiophrenic lymph nodes; Lymphadenectomy; Ovarian cancer.
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