Revista Colombiana de Cirugía
Print version ISSN 2011-7582
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer worldwide, and surgery remains the only curative option. Systematic lymph node dissection as part of the surgical treatment of lung cancer remains a controversial issue, and there is still no clarity as to the number of nodes that should excised for an adequate mediastinal lymph node dissection. An anatomical dissection study in cadavers free of lung cancer was performed in order to establish mean valid number and size of the mediastinal lymph nodes. Twenty cadavers were dissected, encountering 260 node stations, 13 stations per cadaver. In total, 1,037 nodes were dissected, with a mean of 4 nodes per station and 52 nodes per cadaver, with a minimum of 39 nodes and a maximum of 118 nodes per cadaver. Comparing the two sides of the mediastinum, 592 nodes were dissected in the right side, with an average of 30 nodes per cadaver, and 621 in the left side, with an average of 31nodes per cadaver. When comparing our findings pertinent to the size of the nodes with those of other studies, the minimal size of the nodes found in our study appears similar to those of the other studies, but the maximal size is larger; our explanation is the greater incidence of inflammatory diseases and of nodes with anthracosis prevailing in our country, both of which may increase the size of the mediastinal nodes.
Keywords : anatomy; lymph node excision; mediastinum; lung neoplasms; surgery.