Transthoracically or transabdominally: how to approach adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and cardia. A meta-analysis


Esophageal carcinoma is the eighth most frequent cancer worldwide and the sixth cancer-related cause of death. Here we propose a new meta-analysis to identify the most appropriate approach for resectable adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and cardia (Siewert 1-2). A systematic literature search was performed independently by 2 of the manuscript’s authors using PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and the Cochrane Library Central. The following criteria were set for inclusion in this meta-analysis: 1) studies comparing transthoracic esophagectomy and transhiatal esophagectomy for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; 2) studies reporting at least 1 perioperative outcome; and 3) if more than 1 study was reported by the same institute, only the most recent or the highest quality study was included. A total of 6 articles dated between 1996 and 2012 fulfilled the selection criteria and were therefore included in this meta-analysis; this pool of articles consisted of 2 prospective and 4 retrospective studies. A statistically significant difference favoring the transthoracic procedure was noted regarding the number of retrieved lymph nodes, 5-year disease-free survival rate and 5-year overall survival rate (p = 0.001, p = 0.05 and p = 0.03, respectively). In conclusion, transthoracic esophagectomy for adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and esophagogastric junction (Siewert 1-2) appears to be superior to the transhiatal approach in terms of oncological outcomes.

Tumori 2016; 102(4): 352 - 360

Article Type: REVIEW



Paolo Aurello, Paolo Magistri, Giammauro Berardi, Niccolò Petrucciani, Dario Sirimarco, Laura Antolino, Giuseppe Nigri, Francesco D’Angelo, Giovanni Ramacciato

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has any financial or personal relationships with other people or organizations that could potentially and inappropriately influence this work and its conclusions.

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  • Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University, Rome - Italy

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