Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Nov;94(5):1643-51. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.03.078. Epub 2012 May 22.

Pathologic lymph node ratio is a predictor of survival in esophageal cancer.

Author information

  • 1Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0679, USA.



A ratio between pathologic and examined lymph nodes may have predictive relevance in esophageal cancer. We sought to determine the prognostic value of lymph node ratio (LNR) compared with TNM and N stage using the seventh edition American Joint Commission on Cancer and International Union Against Cancer criteria.


We abstracted data from 347 consecutive patients undergoing esophagectomy for esophageal cancer between 1999 and 2010 at our institution. Patients were stratified into surgery alone or induction therapy followed by surgery. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard models estimated the survival function using LNR as a continuous variable or categorized into 0, more than 0.0 to less than 0.1, 0.1 to less than 0.2, 0.2 to less than 0.3, and 0.3 or greater. The influence of LNR on survival was assessed by the Wald χ(2) statistic and survival plots.


A total of 173 patients (49.9%) underwent induction therapy. The pathologic complete response rate was 55 of 173 (32%). The median number of examined nodes in surgery alone was 14 (interquartile range, 8 to 21), and induction was 12 (interquartile range, 7 to 17). Patients with nodal disease (n = 137) had a median LNR of 0.2 with equivalent survival regardless of induction therapy. Examination of LNR as a continuous variable demonstrated that LNR is an independent predictor of survival in both groups. After categorization, LNR contributed more toward estimating survival than pN stage in both groups.


Lymph node ratio is an independent predictor of survival in patients undergoing esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. The LNR makes a greater contribution in estimating overall survival than pN stage, regardless of the utilization of induction therapy.

Copyright © 2012 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk