Background: Endosonography (EUS) is the most accurate modality for assessing depth of tumor invasion and local lymph node metastasis. However, its accuracy in the identification of metastatic (celiac axis) lymph nodes is less well defined. Our objective in this study was to determine the accuracy of EUS in detecting celiac axis lymph node metastasis in patients with esophageal carcinoma. Methods: Two hundred fourteen patients with esophageal carcinoma underwent preoperative EUS. Of these, 145 underwent attempted surgical resection and staging, and 4 underwent EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration of mediastinal and celiac lymph nodes. Local (mediastinal) and distant (celiac axis) lymph nodes were assessed for malignancy on the basis of four criteria (larger than 1 cm, round, homogeneous echo pattern, sharp borders). Accuracy of EUS was determined by means of correlating histopathologic findings for the resected lymph nodes or results of EUS- guided fine-needle aspiration cytologic examination. Results: Surgical exploration (n = 145) and fine-needle aspiration cytologic examination (n = 4) revealed metastatic celiac axis lymph nodes in 23 and metastatic mediastinal (local) lymph nodes in 93 of 149 patients with esophageal carcinoma. According to defined criteria for malignant lymph nodes, there were 19 true-positive and 4 false-negative results. Sensitivity for the diagnosis of celiac lymph node metastasis with EUS was 83% with a 98% specificity. For the diagnosis of mediastinal lymph node metastasis, sensitivity was 79% and specificity was 63%. All patients with malignant celiac axis lymph nodes had local T3 (tumor breaching adventitia) or T4 (tumor invading adjacent organs) disease. Conclusion: EUS is an excellent modality in the evaluation of metastatic celiac axis lymph nodes in patients with esophageal carcinoma. These findings should be used in selecting options for treatment. Sensitivity for detecting malignancy is consistent with that of prior studies, and local and regional lymph nodes and specificity is significantly higher.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging