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Article
July 1994

The Impact of Bilateral Neck Dissection on Pattern of Recurrence and Survival in Supraglottic Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Weber, Johnson, and Myers) and Radiation Oncology (Dr Johnson) and the Division of Head and Neck Oncology and Immunology (Dr Johnson), The Eye and Ear Institute, University of Pittsburgh (Pa) School of Medicine. Dr Weber is now with the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120(7):703-706. doi:10.1001/archotol.1994.01880310009002
Abstract

Objective:  The findings of an initial evaluation of 202 patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx have been previously reported. Recurrent disease was observed at the primary site in four patients (2%), in the regional lymphatics in 39 patients (20%), and at distant sites in 24 patients (12%). Critical analysis of patients who demonstrated recurrent disease in the cervical lymphatics indicated that 38 of 39 recurrences developed in nonsurgically treated necks irrespective of the use of postoperative radiation therapy. Accordingly, all patients with supraglottic carcinoma have been treated with routine bilateral neck dissection since that time. We have reviewed our data to determine if bilateral neck dissections deter recurrence and improve survival.

Design:  A retrospective review of the clinical course of 76 patients undergoing excision of supraglottic squamous carcinoma combined with bilateral neck dissection between 1980 and 1990 was performed to determine survival and recurrence rates. Surgery alone was used to treat 32 patients, while 44 patients were treated with surgery plus adjunctive therapy.

Setting:  Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, The Eye and Ear Institute, University of Pittsburgh (Pa) School of Medicine.

Results:  Distant metastatic spread was the most frequent site of failure, occurring in nine (11.8%) of 76 patients. Local recurrence was experienced by two patients (1%). The incidence of cervical recurrence (seven patients, 9.2%) following treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx has been reduced from 20% to 9% through the use of bilateral neck dissection. The 2-year survival rate increased from 72% to 76%.

Conclusion:  Routine bilateral neck dissection is beneficial in the surgical management of squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;120:703-706)

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