At least 12 lymph nodes (LNs) should be examined following surgical resection of colon cancer. As it is difficult to find small LNs, fat clearing fixatives have been proposed, but there is no consensus about the best option.
The objective of this study was to verify if Carnoy’s solution (CS) increases the LN count in left colon cancer specimens.
A prospective randomized trial (clinicaltrials.gov registration: NCT02629315) with 60 patients with left colon adenocarcinoma who underwent rectosigmoidectomy. Specimens were randomized for fixation with CS or 10% neutral buffered formalin (NBF). After dissection, the pericolic fat from the NBF group was immersed in CS and re-dissected (Revision). The primary endpoint was the total number of LNs retrieved.
Mean LN count was 36.6 and 26.8 for CS and NBF groups, respectively (p=0.004). The number of cases with <12 LNs was 0 (CS) and 3 (NBF, p=0.237). The duration of dissection was similar. LNs were retrieved in all cases during the revision (mean: 19, range: 4-37), accounting for nearly 40% of the LNs of this arm of the study. After the revision, no case was found in the NBF arm with <12 LNs. Two patients had metastatic LNs during the revision (no upstaging occurred).
Compared to NBF, CS increases LN count in colon cancer specimens. After conventional pathologic analysis, fixing the pericolic fat with CS and performing a second dissection substantially increased the number of LNs.
Developed by Surya MKT