Knowing esophageal tumors behavior in relationship to lymph node involvement, distant metastases and local tumor invasion is of paramount importance for the best esophageal tumors management.
To describe lymph node involvement, distant metastases, and local tumor invasion in esophageal carcinoma, according to tumor topography and histology.
A total of 444 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 105 adenocarcinoma were retrospectively analyzed. They were divided into four groups: adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in the three esophageal segments: cervical, middle, and distal. They were compared based on their CT scans at the time of the diagnosis.
Nodal metastasis showed great relationship with of primary tumor site. Lymph nodes of hepatogastric, perigastric and peripancreatic ligaments were mainly affected in distal tumors. Periaortic, interaortocaval and portocaval nodes were more commonly found in distal squamous carcinoma; subcarinal, paratracheal and subaortic nodes in middle; neck chains were more affected in cervical squamous carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma had a higher frequency of peritoneal involvement (11.8%) and liver (24.5%) than squamous cell carcinoma. Considering the local tumor invasion, the more cranial neoplasia, more common squamous invasion of airways, reaching 64.7% in the incidence of cervical tumors. Middle esophageal tumors invade more often aorta (27.6%) and distal esophageal tumors, the pericardium and the right atrium (10.4%).
Esophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in different topographies present peculiarities in lymph node involvement, distant metastasis and local tumor invasion. These differences must be taken into account in esophageal cancer patients' care.
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