Aim: To evaluate the clinicopathological factors influencing lymph node metastasis around the splenic artery and hilum and the effect of spleen-preserved lymphadenectomy in advanced middle third gastric carcinoma. Methods: We retrospectively studied 131 patients with advanced middle third gastric carcinoma who had received D2 lymphadenectomy and lymph node dissection around the splenic artery and hilum, from 2000 to 2004. Of these patients, 62 simultaneously underwent splenectomy and 69 underwent spleen-preserved lymphadenectomy. Results: The incidences of Nos. 10 and 11 lymph node metastases were 21% and 15%, respectively, in advanced middle third gastric carcinoma. A tumor size larger than 5 cm, metastases of Nos. 1 and 7-9 lymph node were independent risk factors for metastasis of No. 10 and/or No. 11 lymph node. The spleen-preserved group had a slightly better survival rate and a relatively lower rate of postoperative complications than the splenectomy group. No. 10 and/or No. 11 lymph node metastasis was an independent prognostic factor, while splenectomy was not. Conclusions: It is necessary to remove the lymph nodes around the splenic artery and hilum to achieve radical resection in advanced middle third gastric carcinoma patients with risk factors. Our results demonstrate that spleen-preserved lymphadenectomy is a good option for those patients.
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