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Lim YC, Song MH, Kim SC, Kim KM, Choi EC. Preserving Level IIb Lymph Nodes in Elective Supraomohyoid Neck Dissection for Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(9):1088–1091. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.9.1088
To determine whether level IIb lymph nodes can be saved in elective supraomohyoid neck dissection (SOHND) as a treatment for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.
Prospective analysis of a case series.
Patients and Interventions
From 1997 to 2001, 74 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and with no palpable lymph nodes at the neck who underwent an elective SOHND were prospectively studied.
Main Outcome Measures
The incidence of pathological metastasis to level IIb lymph nodes and the regional recurrence within this area after elective SOHND was performed were evaluated.
Of the 74 patients, 24 (32%) had lymph nodes positive for microscopic metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. Four (5%) of the 74 patients had involvement of level IIb lymph nodes. There was no instance of isolated metastasis to level IIb lymph nodes without involvement of other nodes in the SOHND specimens. There were 6 cases of the ipsilateral neck recurrences, and of these, 2 patients (3% of all patients) developed recurrences in the level II lymph nodes.
Level IIb lymph node metastasis was rare in this study, and nodal recurrence in this area after SOHND in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity was infrequent. Therefore, this region may be preserved in elective SOHND in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.
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