The presence of lymph node metastases in esophageal cancer is one of the most principle prognostic indicators.
<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was the assessment of cervical and abdominal lymph nodes (N/pN) by ultrasound (US) examination in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus referred to esophagectomy.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> The analyzed study population consisted of 110 patients who underwent a combined-modality treatment (neoadjuvant chemotherapy - 74 patients or chemoradiotherapy - 36 patients). The results of US lymph node assessment were compared to the results of histopathological evaluation of lymph nodes harvested during surgery and diagnostic value of cervical and abdominal US in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value were determined.
<bold>Results.</bold> The complete metastatic regression was shown by US in 14.3-22.2% of patients depending on the node location and mode of neoadjuwant treatment. There was no significant difference in the assessment of lymph nodes between chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy patients.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> US investigation is a method recommended for the assessment of metastatic lymph nodes in squamous cell oesophageal carcinoma, especially - for cervical nodes, where its specificity amounted to 96% and sensitivity - 100%. When positive nodes are suggested by US of the neck esophagectomy should be combined with 3-field lymphadenectomy.
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