Lymphovascular invasion as a prognostic factor in melanoma

Michael E. Egger, Julianna E. Gilbert, Alison L. Burton, Kelly M. Mcmasters, Glenda G. Callender, Amy R. Quillo, Russell E. Brown, Charles R. St Hill, Lee Hagendoorn, Robert C.G. Martin, Arnold J. Stromberg, Charles R. Scoggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The prognostic significance of lymphovascular invasion (LVI) in melanoma remains controversial. Clinicopathologic data from a prospective trial of patients with melanoma were analyzed with respect to LVI. Disease-free survival and overall survival (OS) were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier (KM) analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate factors predictive of tumor-positive sentinel nodes (SLN) and survival. A total of 2183 patients were included in this analysis; 171 (7.8%) had LVI. Median follow-up was 68 months. Factors associated with LVI included tumor thickness, ulceration, and histologic subtype (P<0.05). LVI was associated with a greater risk of SLN metastasis (P<0.05). By KM analysis, LVI was associated with worse OS (P = 0.0009). On multivariate analysis, age, gender, thickness, ulceration, anatomic location, and SLN status were predictors of OS; however, LVI was not an independent predictor of OS. Among patients with regression, the 5-year OS rate was 49.4 per cent for patients with LVI versus 81.1 per cent for those with no LVI (P<0.0001). LVI is associated with a greater risk of SLN metastasis. Although LVI is not an independent predictor of OS in general, it is a powerful predictor of worse OS among patients who have evidence of regression of the primary tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-997
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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