Accuracy of Endoscopic Ultrasound in the Diagnosis of Distal and Celiac Axis Lymph Node Metastasis in Esophageal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review
BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the impact of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided biopsy in patients with esophageal carcinoma where distant lymph nodes which were possibly metastatic were visualized using EUS. PATIENTS AND METHODS Out of 198 patients (150 men, mean age 66 years) examined over a 4-year period by EUS for local staging of esophageal cancer (121 squamous cell carcinomas and 77 adenocarcinomas), there was EUS visualization of distant lymph nodes in 40 (20%). EUS-guided biopsy was carried out in the latter patients, of cervical nodes with mediastinal tumors (n = 19), of celiac nodes with cervical tumors (n = 2) or superior mediastinal tumors (n = 9), and upper mediastinal lymph nodes in the case of distal adenocarcinomas (n = 10). RESULTS On EUS-guided biopsy, results were positive in 31 patients, eight were correctly negative (as confirmed by surgery), and in one patient there was a technical failure, with positive findings on subsequent surgery. The sensitivity and specificity of the diagnosis of malignant lymph nodes were therefore 97% and 100% respectively. The positive results of EUS-guided biopsy modified the tumor staging in 31 of these cases (77.5%), proving distant lymph node metastasis which is classified as stage M1. With regard to actual clinical management, surgery was withheld from 24 patients (60% of 40 cases) who were then treated with concomitant radiotherapy and chemotherapy. CONCLUSION EUS-guided biopsy of distant lymph nodes was indicated in 20% of patients with esophageal cancers, and the biopsy results led to upgrading of the tumor stage in about 80% of cases and influenced the treatment decision in about 60%.