This study was designed to identify risk factors for lymph node metastasis of early stage colorectal cancer, which was confirmed to a carcinoma that invaded the submucosa after radical resection.
In total, 55 patients revealing submucosal invasive colorectal carcinoma on pathology who underwent curative radical resection at the Department of Surgery, St. Vincent’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea from January 2007 to September 2010 were evaluated retrospectively. Tumor size, depth of submucosal invasion, histologic grade, lymphovascular invasion, tumor budding, and microacinar structure were reviewed by a single pathologist. Student t-test for continuous variables and Chi-square test for categorical variables were used for comparing the clinicopathological features between two groups (whether lymph node involvement existed or not). Continuous variables are expressed as the mean ± standard error while statistical significance is accepted at P < 0.05.
The mean age of 55 patients (34 males and 21 females) was 61.2 ± 9.6 years (range, 43–83). Histologically, eight (14.5%) patients had metastatic lymph node. In the univariate analysis, tumor budding (P = 0.047) was the only factor that was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis. Also, the tumor budding had a sensitivity of 83.3%, a specificity of 60.5%, and a negative predictive value of 0.958 for lymph node metastasis in submucosal invasive T1 colorectal cancer.
The tumor budding seems to have a high sensitivity (83.3%), acceptable specificity (60.5%), and a high negative predictive value (0.958). A close examination of pathologic finding including tumor budding should be performed in order to manage early CRC properly.