Intestinal and diffuse gastric cancer: a retrospective study comparing primary sites


      • There is a significant difference in the spread patterns of intestinal gastric cancer compared to that of diffuse subtype.
      • Tumors in the gastroesophageal junction, lesser curvature, and antrum tend to spread to the gastrohepatic ligament and the omentum.
      • Presence of hepatic metastases does not affect overall survival predictability.



      We assessed differences in primary sites and spread patterns of the intestinal and diffuse subtypes of gastric carcinoma. We also compared survival outcomes based on spread patterns.

      Materials and methods

      For this retrospective IRB-approved study, our institutional imaging database was mined for patients with gastric cancer. We included 99 treatment-naïve patients. Patient demographics, pathologic data, tumor classification, primary tumor site, and metastasis sites were recorded. Pearson's chi-squared test was used to correlate tumor pathology with metastatic sites. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were compared between baseline metastatic types. A heat map was created based on the relative frequencies of metastatic sites for each primary tumor site.


      Of the 99 patients, 66 patients had intestinal and 33 had diffuse gastric carcinoma. The intestinal subtype was significantly associated with hepatic metastases (p < 0.001). Diffuse subtype was associated with peritoneal metastases, including omental metastases (p < 0.006), gastrosplenic ligament involvement (p < 0.004), and mesocolonic implants (p < 0.008). Patients with primary gastric tumors occurring at the greater curvature had longer overall survival than those with primary sites at the antrum, GE junction and lesser curvature (p = 0.0015). Patients with peritoneal metastases had a significantly shorter overall survival than patients without peritoneal metastases (p < 0.001). Patients without mesocolon, gastrohepatic ligament, and gastrosplenic ligament involvement had a better survival (p = 0.005, p = 0.0002, and p = 0.0005, respectively). Presence of hepatic metastases had no effect on survival (p = 0.16).


      Recognizing distinctive spread patterns for intestinal versus diffuse gastric carcinoma can aid radiologists in diagnosis and guide clinical management.


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