Outcomes of the surgical treatment for adenocarcinoma of the cardia – single institution experience

  • Stojan Potrč
  • Arpad Ivanecz
  • Bojan Krebs
  • Urška Marolt
  • Bojan Iljevec
  • Tomaž Jagrič



Adenocarcinomas at the cardia are biologically aggressive tumors with poor long-term survival following curative resection. For resectable adenocarcinoma of the cardia, mostly esophagus extended total gastrectomy or esophagus extended proximal gastric resection is performed; however, the surgical approach, transhiatal or transthoracic, is still under discussion.

Patients and methods.

Of altogether 844 gastrectomies performed between January 2000 and December 2016, 166 were done for the adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia. Postoperative morbidity, mortality and long-term survival were analyzed to evaluate the potential differences in clinically relevant outcomes.


136 were esophagus extended total gastrectomy and 125 esophagus extended proximal gastric resection. A D2 lymphadenectomy was performed in 88.2%, splenectomy in 47.2%, and multivisceral resections in 12.4% of patients.

R0 resection rate was 95.7%. The mean proximal resection margin on the esophagus was 42.45mm. It was less than 21mm in 9 patients. Overall morbidity regarding Clavien-Dindo classification (> 1) was altogether 28.6%. 15.5% were noted as surgical and 21.1% as medical complications. The 30-day mortality was 2.2%. The 5-year survival for R0 resections was 33.4%. Multivisceral resection, depth of tumor infiltration, nodal stage, and curability of the resection were identified as independent prognostic factors using the Cox proportional hazards model.


Transhiatal approach for resection of adenocarcinoma of the cardia is a safe procedure for patients with Siewert II and III regarding the postoperative morbidity and mortality; moreover, long-term survival is comparable to transthoracic approach. The complications associated with thoracoabdominal approach can therefore be avoided with no impact on the rate of local recurrence.


Key words: proximal gastric cancer, transhiatal resection, complications, survival

How to Cite
Potrč, S., Ivanecz, A., Krebs, B., Marolt, U., Iljevec, B., & Jagrič, T. (2018). Outcomes of the surgical treatment for adenocarcinoma of the cardia – single institution experience. Radiology and Oncology, 52(1). Retrieved from https://www.radioloncol.com/index.php/ro/article/view/2887
Clinical oncology