The role of lymphovascular space invasion in renal cell carcinoma as a prognostic marker of survival after curative resection

Matthew D. Katz, Maria F. Serrano, Peter A. Humphrey, Robert L. Grubb, Ted A. Skolarus, Feng Gao, Adam S. Kibel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objectives: Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) correlates with adverse outcomes in numerous malignancies. However, its role in predicting outcomes in RCC is unclear. Herein, we evaluated what effect LVI had on metastasis free survival (MFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with RCC treated with surgical excision. Methods: Eight hundred forty-one consecutive patients who underwent partial or radical nephrectomy from 1989 to 2004 were identified. Pathologic and gross features examined were LVI, subtype, Fuhrman grade, stage, and size. Age and gender were also analyzed. Slides were re-reviewed by a single pathologist (MS). Variables with P < 0.1 on univariate analysis were incorporated in a Cox proportional hazards multivariate model. MFS, DSS, and OS were described for patients with and without LVI using the Kaplan-Meier method, and compared with the log-rank test. Results: LVI was seen on H and E stained slides in 91 patients (11%); 120 (14%) developed metastatic disease, 91 (11%) died of RCC, and 306 (36%) died during a median follow-up of 61 months. While on univariate analysis, LVI was strongly associated with decreased MFS, DSS, and OS (P < 0.0001), on multivariate analysis, LVI was no longer statistically significant for MFS, DSS, and OS with a HR of 0.976 (95% CI: 0.583-1.63; P = 0.93), 0.96 (95% CI: 0.542-1.69; P = 0.88), and 1.24 (95% CI: 0.869-1.77; P = 0.24). Conclusions: We found LVI to be associated with worse MFS, DSS, and OS on univariate analysis, but not on multivariate analysis for patients with nonmetastatic RCC. In contrast to previously reported studies, LVI may not be an independent prognostic variable in patients with localized RCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-744
Number of pages7
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphovascular invasion
  • Nephrectomy
  • Survival


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