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01.03.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2018

Surgery Today 3/2018

Anatomical study of the left superior mediastinal lymphatics for tracheal branches of left recurrent laryngeal nerve-preserving mediastinoscope-assisted surgery in esophageal cancer

Zeitschrift:
Surgery Today > Ausgabe 3/2018
Autoren:
Yutaka Nakajima, Yutaka Tokairin, Yasuaki Nakajima, Kenro Kawada, Kagami Nagai, Kumiko Yamaguchi, Keiichi Akita, Tatsuyuki Kawano

Abstract

Purpose

Curative treatment of esophageal cancer requires meticulous superior mediastinal lymphadenectomy, in addition to esophagectomy, because superior mediastinal lymph node metastases are common in esophageal cancer. When preserving the tracheal branches of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN), good anatomical understanding is required for confirmation of the positional relationships between the courses of lymphatic vessels, lymph node distribution, and the left RLN and its tracheal branches. We performed a detailed anatomical examination of these relationships.

Methods

Macroscopic anatomical observation and histological examination was performed on cadavers. In addition to hematoxylin and eosin staining, immunostaining using antipodoplanin antibody D2-40 (podoplanin) was performed to identify the lymphatic vessels.

Results

The tracheal branches of the left RLN were clearly observed, but no lymphatic vessels crossing the ventral or dorsal side of the branches were identified either macro-anatomically or histologically.

Conclusion

No complex lymphatic network structure straddling the plane composed of tracheal branches of the left RLN was found in the left superior mediastinum. This suggests that dissection of the lymph nodes around the left RLN via the pneumomediastinum method using the left cervical approach may allow preservation of the tracheal branches of the left RLN by maintaining dissection accuracy.

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