Comparison of the conventional method of lymph node staging with a comprehensive fat‐clearing method for gastric adenocarcinoma
Discrepant results in long-term survival between United States and Japanese patients with resectable gastric adenocarcinoma may result from more accurate staging in the Japanese series. The authors compared a comprehensive fat-clearing method with the conventional pathology method of lymph node sampling in 11 patients undergoing curative gastrectomy and extended lymphadenectomy at their institution. Comprehensive fat-clearing doubled total lymph node counts (P less than 0.01), identified smaller lymph nodes (P less than 0.001), and identified more histologically involved nodes of significantly smaller size (P less than 0.001). Comprehensive fat-clearing pathologically upstaged 29% of the authors' eligible specimens. Accurate pathologic staging is necessary when comparing Japanese and United States survival data for resectable gastric adenocarcinomas.