Prognostic value of lymphovascular invasion in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Yi-Min Gu, Yu-Shang Yang, Wei-Peng Hu, Wen-Ping Wang, Yong Yuan, Long-Qi Chen


Background: Whether lymphovascular invasion (LVI) in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) should be considered an independent prognostic factor for survival is controversial. The aim of this report was to investigate the prognostic value of LVI for patients with ESCC.
Methods: Between October 2010 and July 2011, 152 ESCC patients were retrospectively reviewed. All of the patients underwent curative resection as their primary treatment. Clinicopathological features and overall survival (OS) rate were investigated. Kaplan–Meier curves were used to calculate the OS rate, and the prognostic factors were identified by Cox regression model.
Results: Positive LVI was found in 49 (32.2%) patients. Patients with negative LVI had a significantly better 5-year OS rate than those with positive LVI (52.9% vs. 28.8%; P=0.000). The age, T stage, N stage, tumor differentiation, and LVI were demonstrated to be significant prognostic factors for OS through univariate analyses. LVI was confirmed as an independent prognostic factor for OS through multivariate survival analyses. Subgroup analyses revealed that LVI was associated with a decreased OS in node-negative patients, and no significant difference was observed in node-positive cases.
Conclusions: Our study highlighted that LVI is an independent prognostic factor in patients with resectable ESCC. LVI may facilitate the stratification of patients with poor survival.