While colorectal cancer is increasingly common in western populations, anatomical concepts regarding the anatomy of resection have remained static. In attempting to maximise the chance of surgical cure, surgeons and pathologists are now focussing upon the quality of oncological resection. Amongst pathological indices of interest, lymph node yield and the apical lymph node specifically are increasingly being shown to be reliable markers of the adequacy of oncologic resection. However, the position of the apical node in particular, is highly subjective and may not always correlate with the anatomical boundaries ultimately defining resection. We argue that the present definition of the apical lymph node is overly subjective and requires re-defining based on fixed anatomical landmarks. We propose that this new definition include a block of tissue inferolateral to the Trunk of Henle (the anatomical apical lymph node compartment).
- Apical lymph node
- Colorectal cancer