Distribution of metastatic lymph nodes in colorectal cancer by the modified clearing method

Dis Colon Rectum. 1994 Mar;37(3):219-23. doi: 10.1007/BF02048158.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to clarify the distribution of lymph node metastasis in colorectal cancer. We also examined the relationship between the primary tumor (T) and the regional node (N) categories of the TNM (primary tumor, regional nodes, metastasis) classification.

Method: Lymph nodes of surgical specimens in 311 consecutive patients with colorectal cancer were studied using the modified clearing method.

Results: Lymph node metastasis was seen in 59.2 percent of the total cases. The upward metastasis rate was 30.7 percent. In the longitudinal spread, most of the lymph node metastasis was seen within 10 cm. On the oral side in rectal cancer, there was no metastasis beyond 4 cm. The lateral metastasis rate in rectal cancer was 8.8 percent and in the lower rectum, the rate of cancer within 6 cm from the anal verge or beyond pT3 was much higher.

Conclusion: In the TNM classification, there was no significant difference between colon and rectal cancer except pT1 with rectal cancer. In the lower rectal cancer within 6 cm from the anal verge or beyond pT3, there is a high risk of lateral metastasis, and lateral lymph node dissection or radiation therapy should be performed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anus Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Anus Neoplasms / secondary
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Rectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Rectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Sigmoid Neoplasms / secondary