Staging laparotomy provides useful information for management of Hodgkin disease but has fallen into disfavor because procedure-related morbidity exceeds that of new chemotherapeutic regimens.
To determine the feasibility, effectiveness, and safety of laparoscopic staging for Hodgkin disease compared with those of open staging.
Fifty-five patients with Hodgkin disease of cell types including nodular sclerosis in 43 (78%), mixed cellularity in 9 (16%), and lymphocyte predominance in 3 (5%).
Concurrent evaluation of laparoscopic staging (n=15) and retrospective review of open staging (n=40).
Laparoscopic and open techniques of surgical staging for Hodgkin disease, including splenectomy, liver biopsies, and lymph node sampling.
Main Outcome Measures
Operative time, duration of postoperative ileus and of postoperative hospitalization, morbidity, number of lymph nodes retrieved, alteration in pathologic stage, recurrence, and survival.
For laparoscopic staging vs open staging groups, mean operative time was 202 vs 144 minutes (P=.001); mean postoperative ileus was 1.9 vs 3.2 days (P<.001); mean postoperative hospitalization was 4.4 vs 6.7 days (P<.001); complications occurred in 3 patients (20%) vs 11 patients (28%) (P=.57); and mean number of lymph nodes retrieved was 8.5 vs 4.6 (P=.05). In the laparoscopic staging group, 2 cases (13%) were upstaged and 2 cases (13%) were downstaged. In the open staging group, 6 cases (15%) were upstaged and 3 cases (7.5%) were downstaged. Follow-up data were available for all patients in the laparoscopic staging group, at a mean of 23.5 months postoperatively. All were alive, none had recurrent disease below the diaphragm, and 2 (13%) had residual mediastinal disease. Follow-up data were available for 31 patients (78%) in the open staging group at a mean of 52.5 months postoperatively. All were alive, 27 (87%) were disease free, 3 (10%) had had relapses above the diaphragm, and 1 (3%) had residual mediastinal disease.
Compared with open staging, laparoscopic staging of Hodgkin disease is oncologically equivalent and functionally superior. These data should encourage reappraisal of the role of operative staging in the management of Hodgkin disease.