Superiority of extended en bloc esophagogastrectomy for carcinoma of the lower esophagus and cardia

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The belief that transhiatal esophagogastrectomy results in the same survival as a more extensive en bloc resection was tested in 69 patients with carcinoma in the distal esophagus and gastric cardia. Preoperative and intraoperative staging defined three distinct subgroups of patients. Those with apparently limited disease and good general health (group I, n = 30) underwent en bloc resection. Those with apparently limited disease but poor physiologic reserve (group II, n = 16) underwent transhiatal resection, as did those with evidence of more advanced disease (group III, n = 23). Overall, survival was significantly better in the 30 patients who underwent en bloc resection (41%) than in the 39 patients who underwent transhiatal resections (14%; p < 0.001, log-rank). Clinical staging showed apparently limited disease in 46 patients (groups I and II). These groups differed only in the presence of poor physiologic reserve because the percentages of patients with tumors limited to the esophageal wall (group I 13/30, group II 6/16) and four or fewer lymph node metastases (group I 21/30, group II 15/16) at the time of pathologic staging were not significantly different. Survival after en bloc resection was, however, significantly better (41% versus 21%; p < 0.05, log-rank). According to the WNM system of pathologic staging, 19 patients had early lesions defined as intramural lesions associated with four or fewer lymph node metastases, 26 had intermediate lesions defined as either transmural or associated with more than four lymph node metastases, and 24 had late lesions defined as both transmural and associated with fewer than four lymph node metastases. Survival was significantly better in patients with early lesions after en bloc resection compared with transhiatal resection (75% versus 20%, p < 0.01), survival was also significantly better in patients with advanced lesions (27% versus 9%, p < 0.01). For intermediate lesions, the survival was similar (14% versus 20%), although the median survival after en bloc resection was longer (24 months versus 8 months).




Hagen, J. A., Peters, J. H., DeMeester, T. R., Lerut, T., & Orringer, M. B. (1993). Superiority of extended en bloc esophagogastrectomy for carcinoma of the lower esophagus and cardia. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 106(5), 850–859.

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