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Cancer. 1997 Mar 1;79(5):892-9.

The role of lymph node dissection in the treatment of gallbladder carcinoma.

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Second Department of Surgery, Yokohama City University, School of Medicine, Japan.



Lymph node involvement is an important prognostic factor in gallbladder carcinoma (GBC). The lymph node involvement pattern, extent, and indications for systematic lymph node dissection for patients with advanced GBC were investigated.


Forty-one patients with GBC who underwent radical resection with systematic regional lymph node dissection over the past 11 years were analyzed.


The lymph node metastasis rate was 63.4% overall, 0% in pT1 disease, 61.9% in pT2 disease, and 81.3% in pT3/pT4 disease. When reviewed according to site, the rate was 41.5% in pericholedochal lymph nodes, 22.0% in the lymph nodes around the common hepatic artery and the portal vein, 36.6% in the posterior pancreaticoduodenal lymph nodes, 28% (5/18) in the celiac lymph nodes, 19% (3/ 16) in the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) lymph nodes, and 26% (7/27) in the aortocaval paraaortic lymph nodes. Patients with severe hepatoduodenal ligament invasion had high rates of paraaortic lymph node involvement. The mortality rate was 2.4% (1 of 41 patients) and the 5-year survival rate was 33.1% overall, 100% in patients with pT1 disease, 49.8% in patients with pT2 disease, and 0% in patients with pT3/pT4 disease. The 5-year survival rate for pT2 disease according to lymph node involvement was 72.7% in patients with pN0+ pN1+ positive posterior pancreaticoduodenal lymph nodes and positive lymph nodes around the common hepatic artery in the N2 patients and 0% in the patients with positive celiac and SMA lymph nodes in the N2 patient group or the positive paraaortic lymph node group (P < 0.05).


These results suggest that systemic dissection of N1 lymph nodes, posterior pancreaticoduodenal lymph nodes, and lymph nodes around the common hepatic artery and the portal vein in N2 patients is necessary to improve the prognosis of those patients with pT2 disease without moderate or severe hepatoduodenal ligament invasion.

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