Lymph node biopsy is a useful source of material for the assessment of disease states in both malignant neoplastic and nonmalignant entities. Analysis of biopsy material, both histologic and bacteriologic, may eventuate in the diagnosis of primary disease states and delineate the extent of remote spread from primary malignant neoplasms. In the latter instance, the presence of malignancy may determine operability. The presence of visceral cancer metastases in prescalene lymph nodes precludes curative resection and an operative approach is useful for palliation only.
Daniels1 described prescalene node biopsy in 1949 and defined the surgical prescalene space as that area bounded by the subclavian vein inferiorly, the internal jugular vein medially, and the omohyoid muscle laterally. Jamplis et al2 reported their results in simultaneous scalene biopsy and bronchoscopy, using essentially the same anatomical boundaries as previously described by Daniels. Their patient population numbered 61, and nodal tissue was positive
Lawton RL, Brintnall ES. Prescalene Node BiopsyAn Analysis of 566 Cases. Arch Surg. 1970;100(1):68-70. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340190070015