Clinical significance of carcinoma invasion of the extrapancreatic nerve plexus in pancreatic cancer

Pancreas. 1996 May;12(4):357-61. doi: 10.1097/00006676-199605000-00006.


To elucidate the clinical significance of neural invasion in pancreatic carcinoma, a clinicopathological study was performed. Neural invasion is a common feature of pancreatic carcinoma whose clinical significance has not yet been determined. Over a period of > 10 years, 129 of 204 (63%) patients with pancreatic carcinoma underwent resection by extensive radical surgery. A clinicopathological study of those specimens of pancreatic carcinoma was performed, with particular reference to neural invasion. Intrapancreatic neural invasion was observed in 116 of 129 (90%), of which 80 (69%) showed extrapancreatic nerve plexus involvement. A statistically significant (p < 0.001) correlation between the grade of intrapancreatic neural invasion and extrapancreatic nerve plexus invasion was observed. The postoperative survival rate for patients with extrapancreatic nerve plexus involvement was significantly (p < 0.001) lower than that for patients without extrapancreatic nerve plexus involvement. Patients who survived for > 3 years after operation had no extrapancreatic nerve plexus invasion even when portal vein wall invasion was observed.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / mortality*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Pancreas / innervation*
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Portal Vein / pathology
  • Prognosis