Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 559–564

A detailed anatomical assessment of the lateral tongue extrinsic musculature, and proximity to the tongue mucosal surface. Does this confirm the current TNM T4a muscular subclassification?

  • Paul W. Boland
  • Kostas Pataridis
  • Karen A. Eley
  • Stephen J. Golding
  • Stephen R. Watt-Smith
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00276-013-1076-6

Cite this article as:
Boland, P.W., Pataridis, K., Eley, K.A. et al. Surg Radiol Anat (2013) 35: 559. doi:10.1007/s00276-013-1076-6

Abstract

Purpose

The current T4a subclassification of the TNM staging system for oral malignancies has been criticised as based almost exclusively on anatomical data. The aim of this study was to provide anatomical confirmation of the muscular constraints of T4a classification of oral tongue tumours.

Methods

A detailed anatomical study describing and measuring the adjacency of the named extrinsic tongue muscles to the lateral tongue surface was completed on the Visible Human Female (VHF). The distance of styloglossus and hyoglossus to the over lying mucosa were determined.

Results

The appearance, position, orientation and anatomical relationships of the lateral tongue extrinsic muscles, with comparison to their classical descriptions are described. The right VHF styloglossus was 1.3 mm (0.33–1.48) and left 2.91 mm (0.66–7.68) from the mucosal surface in the axial plane. The right VHF hyoglossus was 2.93 mm (1.48–4.96) and left 4.33 (1.68–8.71) from the mucosal surface in the axial line.

Conclusions

In the lateral tongue, styloglossus and hyoglossus are very superficial. The inclusion criteria of hyoglossus and styloglossus in the T4a staging does not appear justified based upon their anatomical position.

Keywords

Tumour stagingTongueOral carcinomaTNM stagingStyloglossusHyoglossusGenioglossusPalatoglossus

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul W. Boland
    • 1
  • Kostas Pataridis
    • 1
  • Karen A. Eley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen J. Golding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen R. Watt-Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Oxford Radiology Research Group, Oxford MRI CentreJohn Radcliffe HospitalOxfordUK
  2. 2.Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, Level 6 Academic Block, John Radcliffe HospitalUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK