Perimarginal lymph nodes: an undervalued entity in oral cancer

  • Giancarlo Tirelli
  • Annalisa Gatto
  • Alberto Vito MarcuzzoEmail author
Head & Neck



In a previous study, we gave a surgical description of a group of lymph nodes in the submandibular area at risk of remaining undissected during neck dissection (ND) for which we have proposed the term “perimarginal nodes” (PMNs) due to their proximity to marginal mandibular nerve (MMN). The aim of this study is to evaluate prevalence of PMNs involvement in oral cavity squamous cell cancer (OCSCC) and to verify if metastases are related to primary tumor characteristics or to the state of the neck.


We recruited a total of 39 consecutive patients diagnosed with OCSCC candidate to ND. Histological characteristics of PMNs were analyzed and the incidence of metastases in relation to the primary tumor characteristics were noted.


PMNs were found to be involved with metastases in 8 patients (20.5%). No characteristic of the primary tumor seems to influence the metastatic involvement of the PMNs.


PMNs represent a frequent site of micro-metastases in patients diagnosed with OCSCC regardless of other characteristics of the primary tumor.


Perimarginal nodes Perifacial nodes Submandibular nodes Neck dissection Oral cavity cancer 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest and this research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck SurgeryAzienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata di Trieste-ASUITSTriesteItaly

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