Background: Although patients with early gastric cancer have good prognosis, recurrence after treatment may occur. Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) in gastric cancer has long been suggested as a poor prognostic indicator. This study sought to evaluate the prognostic effect of LVI in patients with early gastric cancer. Methods: From 2005 to 2016, 6516 patients with early gastric cancer who underwent radical gastrectomy were analyzed. The patients were categorized according to LVI and lymph node (LN) status. Results: LVI was present in 853 patients (13.1%). Patients with LVI or LN metastasis had more aggressive tumor characteristics than patients without both LVI and LN metastasis. The overall and relapse-free survival in patients with LVI were significantly worse than in patients without LVI. When we compared the survival rate of patients stratified by LVI and LN status, there was a significant overall and relapse-free survival difference between patients without both LVI and LN metastasis compared with those with LVI but without LN metastasis (p < 0.001). The overall and relapse-free survival of patients with LVI but without LN metastasis were similar to those without LVI but with LN metastasis (p = 0.818). Patients with LVI or LN metastasis showed a high frequency of recurrence (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that LVI and LN status were independent risk factors for relapse-free survival of early gastric cancer patients. Conclusions: Early gastric cancer with LVI is associated with poor prognosis and frequent recurrence. When predicting the prognosis of patients with early gastric cancer, LVI should be considered.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. Hyung WJ reports receiving research grants from Medtronic and GC Pharma and is the chief executive officer of Hutom and holds its stock. He provided consultancy services to Ethicon and Verb Surgical outside the submitted work. He received lecture fees from Stryker. The other authors report no conflicts of interest.
© 2021, Society of Surgical Oncology.
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