Endoscopic Ultrasound Predicts Risk of Occult Intra-Abdominal Metastases in Localized Gastric Cancer: A Validation Study

Fares Ayoub, Christopher G. Chapman, Heather Chen, Namrata Setia, Kevin Roggin, Uzma D. Siddiqui


Background: In gastric cancer (GC) patients without imaging evidence of distant metastasis, diagnostic staging laparoscopy (DSL) is recommended to detect radiographically occult peritoneal metastasis (M1). DSL carries a risk for morbidity and its cost-effectiveness is unclear. Use of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to improve patient selection for DSL has been proposed but not validated. We aimed to validate an EUS-based risk classification system predicting risk for M1 disease.

Methods: We retrospectively identified all GC patients without positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) evidence of distant metastasis who underwent staging EUS followed by DSL between 2010 and 2020. T1-2, N0 disease was EUS low-risk; T3-4 and/or N+ disease was high-risk.

Results: A total of 68 patients met inclusion criteria. DSL identified radiographically occult M1 disease in 17 patients (25%). Most patients had EUS T3 tumors (n = 59, 87%) and 48 (71%) patients were node-positive (N+). Five (7%) patients were classified EUS low-risk and 63 (93%) were classified high-risk. Of 63 high-risk patients, 17 (27%) had M1 disease. The ability of low-risk EUS to predict M0 disease at laparoscopy was 100% and DSL would have been avoided in five patients (7%). This stratification algorithm showed a sensitivity of 100% (95% confidence interval (CI): 80.5-100%) and a specificity of 9.8% (95% CI: 3.3-21.4%).

Conclusions: Use of an EUS-based risk classification system in GC patients without imaging evidence of metastasis helps identify a subset of patients at low-risk for laparoscopic M1 disease who may avoid DSL and proceed directly to neoadjuvant chemotherapy or resection with curative intent. Larger, prospective studies are needed to validate these findings.

Gastroenterol Res. 2023;16(1):9-16
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1589


Gastric cancer; Endoscopic ultrasound; Diagnostic staging laparoscopy; Laparoscopy; Staging; Imaging; Metastasis

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