Variability in Number of Lymph Nodes After Surgery Probed

Friday, January 20, 2012 (Last Updated: 01/23/2012)

FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In two pathology departments in different hospitals, significant differences have been seen in the number of lymph nodes found following pelvic lymph node dissection for bladder cancer, according to a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

R.P.P. Meijer, M.D., of St. Lucas Andreas Hospital in Amsterdam, and colleagues evaluated 174 patients (mean age, 62.7 years) with bladder cancer who underwent extended bilateral pelvic lymph node dissection at two hospitals, and compared the nodal yield results after histopathological examinations. The samples were processed according to institutional protocols at two pathology departments.

The researchers found that, at hospital one, a mean of 16 lymph nodes were found, compared to 28 at hospital two (P < 0.001). The mean density of lymph nodes was 9.3 percent at hospital one and 3.9 percent at hospital two (P = 0.056). There were no significant differences in the number of tumor positive lymph nodes (P = 0.65).

"Unless standardized methods are agreed on by pathologists, the number of reported lymph nodes as an indicator of surgical quality and lymph node density as a prognostic factor should be used cautiously," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to Intuitive Surgical.

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Specialties Pathology
Hematology & Oncology

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