The purpose of this retrospective study was to clarify the predictive factors correlated with esophageal stenosis within three months after radiation therapy for locally advanced esophageal cancer. We enrolled 47 patients with advanced esophageal cancer with T2-4 and stageII-III who were treated with definitive radiation therapy and achieving complete response of primary lesion at Kyushu University Hospital between January 1998 and December 2005. Esophagography was performed for all patients before treatment and within three months after completion of the radiation therapy, the esophageal stenotic ratio was evaluated. The stenotic ratio was used to define four levels of stenosis: stenosis level 1, stenotic ratio of 0-25%; 2, 25-50%; 3,50-75%; 4,75-100%. We then estimated the correlation between the esophageal stenosis level after radiation therapy and each of numerous factors. The numbers and total percentages of patients at each stenosis level were as follows: level 1: n = 14 (30%); level 2: 8 (17%); level 3: 14 (30%); and level 4: 11 (23%). Esophageal stenosis in the case of full circumference involvement tended to be more severe and more frequent. Increases in wall thickness tended to be associated with increases in esophageal stenosis severity and frequency. The extent of involved circumference and wall thickness of tumor region were significantly correlated with esophageal stenosis associated with tumor regression in radiation therapy (p = 0.0006, p = 0.005). For predicting the possibility of esophageal stenosis with tumor regression within three months in radiation therapy, the extent of involved circumference and esophageal wall thickness of the tumor region may be useful.
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