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Laparoscopic lymph node biopsy in intra-abdominal lymphoma: high diagnostic accuracy achieved with a minimally invasive procedure.

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  • 1Departments of General and Transplant Surgery, University of Genoa, San Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy.


Ultrasound or computed tomography-guided percutaneous lymph nodes biopsy often do not supply sufficient tissue for the histopathologic diagnosis of a lymphoma. Laparoscopic lymph node biopsy (LLB) has the advantage of obtaining the entire lymph node and avoiding the invasivity and all the possible complications of a laparotomy. The aim of the present study is to assess the safety and diagnostic accuracy of the LLB in intra-abdominal lymphoma. Between April 1999 and October 2005, 36 LLB were performed in 35 patients to rule out or to follow the progression of a lymphoma. The clinical outcome and the pathology reports were analyzed retrospectively. A conversion to laparotomy was necessary in 2 cases due to intraoperative difficulties (5.8%). No major postoperative complications or mortality occurred. Mean hospital stay was 2.1 days. In 9 patients, LLB was performed to follow a possible progression of the lymphoma, whereas in 26 patients it was used to establish a diagnosis. Two repeated LLB were necessary to achieve a correct diagnosis in 1 patient. Fourteen patients had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 6 patients had Hodgkin lymphoma, 9 patients presented an infiltration by primitive or metastatic tumors, and 7 patients had benign lymphadenopathy. In 97% of the cases, LLB supplied the necessary information for the correct diagnosis, classification, and subsequent therapeutic decisions. In conclusion, LLB is a safe and effective procedure. Its diagnostic accuracy is superior to percutaneous techniques. LLB can be proposed as the procedure of choice to sample deep lymphatic tissues in patients with intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy at a very low morbidity rate and as an outpatient procedure in selected cases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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