Published online May 27, 2023. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v15.i5.812
Peer-review started: December 28, 2022
First decision: February 4, 2023
Revised: February 18, 2023
Accepted: April 7, 2023
Article in press: April 7, 2023
Published online: May 27, 2023
Total gastrectomy with splenectomy is the standard treatment for advanced proximal gastric cancer with greater-curvature invasion. As an alternative to splenectomy, laparoscopic spleen-preserving splenic hilar lymph node (LN) dissection (SPSHLD) has been developed. With SPSHLD, the posterior splenic hilar LNs are left behind.
To clarify the distribution of splenic hilar (No. 10) and splenic artery (No. 11p and 11d) LNs and to verify the possibility of omitting posterior LN dissection in laparoscopic SPSHLD from an anatomical standpoint.
Hematoxylin & eosin-stained specimens were prepared from six cadavers, and the distribution of LN No. 10, 11p, and 11d was evaluated. In addition, heatmaps were constructed and three-dimensional reconstructions were created to visualize the LN distribution for qualitative evaluation.
There was little difference in the number of No. 10 LNs between the anterior and posterior sides. For LN No. 11p and 11d, the anterior LNs were more numerous than the posterior LNs in all cases. The number of posterior LNs increased toward the hilar side. Heatmaps and three-dimensional reconstructions showed that LN No. 11p was more abundant in the superficial area, while LN No. 11d and 10 were more abundant in the deep intervascular area.
The number of posterior LNs increased toward the hilum and was not neglectable. Thus, surgeons should consider that some posterior No. 10 and No. 11d LNs may remain after SPSHLD.
Core Tip: Recently, laparoscopic spleen-preserving splenic hilar lymph node (LN) dissection (SPSHLD) has emerged as a viable alternative to splenectomy for advanced proximal gastric cancer with greater curvature invasion. However, laparoscopic SPSHLD has been observed to leave behind the posterior splenic hilar LNs. In this study, we aimed to clarify the distribution of splenic hilar and splenic artery LNs by examining cadavers, and to evaluate the possibility of omitting posterior LN dissection in laparoscopic SPSHLD from an anatomical perspective. Our findings revealed that the number of posterior LNs increased towards the hilum and was not negligible. Therefore, it is crucial for surgeons to consider that some posterior LNs may remain after SPSHLD.