Objective: To evaluate the significance of mesenteric lymphadenopathy arising after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for periampullary carcinomas. Materials and methods: Serial multidetector CT (MDCT) studies in 44 patients after PD for periampullary carcinomas (Group A) were retrospectively reviewed, the incidence and interval changes of mesenteric lymphadenopathy were evaluated, and comparisons were made with 21 patients who underwent PD for benign diseases (Group B). Results: In Group A, mesenteric lymphadenopathy was seen in 31 of 44 (70.5%) patients. The short axis diameter of the largest lymph node ranged from 6.2 to 11.5 mm (mean ± S.D.: 8.6 ± 1.4 mm), and the short-axis-to-long-axis (S/L) ratio ranged from 0.46 to 0.99 (mean ± S.D.: 0.69 ± 0.12). Six of the 31 (19.4%) mesenteric lymphadenopathy cases showed interval increases in size on follow-up studies, and three cases showed new development of mesenteric lymphadenopathy: all of these nine cases had concurrent recurrence in the mesenteric root. In Group B, 11 (52.4%) had mesenteric lymphadenopathy. The short axis diameter of the largest lymph node ranged from 5.6 to 10.9 mm (mean ± S.D.: 8.0 ± 1.9 mm) and the S/L ratio ranged from 0.48 to 0.93 (mean ± S.D.: 0.67 ± 0.12). Differences in the incidence, short axis diameter and S/L ratio were not significant between Groups A and B (p = 0.154, 0.271 and 0.654, respectively). Conclusion: Mesenetric lymphadenopathy after PD less likely reflects recurrence. Lymph node metastasis may be suggested only when coexisting recurrent mass is found in the proximal mesenteric root.
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