BACKGROUND: The significance of lymphovascular invasion (LVI) remains controversial, and the association of LVI with biochemical relapse was investigated in men treated with radical prostatectomy according to pathological results. METHODS: Data from 1268 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy between 2000 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. Clinicopathological variables were compared between LVI-negative and LVI-positive patients. Multivariate analyses by Cox proportional hazard model and Kaplan-Meier method were performed to identify risk factors for biochemical relapse in all patients, patients with pT2N0 and pT2N0 negative resection margin (RM). RESULTS: LVI information was available in 1160 cases, and LVI was seen in 121 cases (10.4%). Clinicopathological variables were significantly worse in LVI-positive patients than in LVI-negative patients. On multivariate analyses, PSA ≥ 10 ng ml-1, pathological Gleason score ≥ 8, pathological T stage ≥ 3, lymph node metastasis, positive RM and LVI were independent predictors for biochemical relapse in all patients. In patients with pT2N0, PSA ≥ 10 ng ml-1, pathological Gleason score ≥ 8, positive RM and LVI were independent predictors for biochemical relapse. In patients with pT2N0 negative RM, LVI and pathological Gleason score ≥ 8 were independent predictors for biochemical relapse (LVI; hazard ratio 3.809, 95% confidence interval 1.900-7.635, P-value < 0.001, Gleason score ≥ 8; hazard ratio 2.189, 95% confidence interval 1.199-3.999, P-value = 0.011). With a median follow-up of 50 months, 5-year biochemical relapse-free survival in patients with pT2N0 negative RM was 95.7% in those with negative LVI in comparison to 85.3% in those with positive LVI (P < 0.001, log rank). CONCLUSIONS: LVI was consistently a significant predictor for biochemical relapse after radical prostatectomy in not only all patients but also in patients with pT2N0 and pT2N0 negative RM. These results strongly support the significance of LVI as a predictor for biochemical relapse.
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