Article Abstract

Predictive role of intraoperative clinicopathological features of the central compartment in estimating lymph nodes metastasis status

Authors: Rong-Hao Sun, Chao Li, Yu-Qiu Zhou, Yong-Cong Cai, Chun-Yan Shui, Wei Liu, Xu Wang, Din-Fen Zeng, Jian Jiang, Jing-Qiang Zhu


Background: To explore the feasibility of immediate assessment, which focuses on clinicopathological characteristics of central lymph nodes (LNs) during operation. Moreover, to analyze the predictive effect of various evaluated indicators on the nature, quantities, and ratios of central lymph node metastasis (LNM) in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), to provide the basis for precise individualized central lymph node dissection (LND).
Methods: According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 1,271 PTC patients were selected in this cohort study. In the study, the clinical and pathological characteristics of the central LNs were evaluated by the treatment groups during the operation, which had a similar therapeutic experience. The parameters including the texture, volume, maximum/vertical meridian, extracapsular infiltration, adhesion or fusion, and nano-carbon staining status of the central LNs were collected. According to the pathological results after the operation, the nature, quantities, and rate of LNM in the central compartment were counted. The relationship between these parameters and metastatic nature, quantities, and ratios was analyzed and compared.
Results: Univariate analysis showed that when the larger size of LNs (especially the maximum meridian >0.9 cm), extracapsular infiltration, adhesion and fusion being found, A higher possibility of LNM in the central compartment (P<0.05), higher number and ratio of metastasis (P<0.05) might be existed. Moreover, more than two positive LNs were more likely to appear. Maximum/vertical meridian <2 and texture hardness could not indicate metastasis (P>0.05) and higher metastasis ratio (P>0.05), but could only be used as a reference for the existence of metastasis (P<0.05). The number of metastatic LNs dissected by carbon nanoparticles during operation could be increased (P<0.05). However, it has no predictive effect on the nature and rate of LNM (P>0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that larger central LNs, the maximum meridian >0.9 cm, extracapsular infiltration, adhesion, and fusion were independent prognostic factors for central LNM (P<0.05), which could be used as a predictor of the properties of central LNs during operation. At the same time, larger LNs, extracapsular infiltration, adhesion and fusion, and nano-carbon black staining were independent predictors of LNM in the central compartment, which are more than two (P<0.05).
Conclusions: It is practical and feasible to evaluate the clinicopathological features of central LNs immediately during the operation. Intraoperative assessment of central LNs volume, capsular infiltration, maximum/vertical meridian, carbon nano tracking, and adhesion and fusion has predictive effects differently on the nature, quantities, and ratios of central LNM. In order to make an early prediction and advance judgment, surgeons should pay more attention to evaluate clinicopathological features of central LNs during operation, which is conducive to the proper implementation of LND in the central compartment.