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A Clinicopathological Evaluation of the Correlation of Carcinoma Oral Tongue (Anterior Two Thirds) with Cervical Nodal Metastasis to Assess the Level of Neck Dissection: A Hospital Based Prospective Study



Being an important prognostic predictor in carcinoma oral tongue, neck metastasis poses an adverse impact on prognosis.The management of neck is still controversial. Neck metastasis depends on features like tumor thickness, depth of invasion, lymphovascular invasion and perineural invasion. Thus by correlating these features with the level of nodal metastasis and by correlating clinical and pathological staging, a preoperative assumption for a more conservative neck dissection may be done.


  1. 1.

    To correlate clinical staging, pathological staging and depth of invasion (DOI) of tumor with cervical nodal metastasis, for a preoperative assumption of a more conservative neck dissection.

  2. 2.

    To study the correlation of additional prognostic features like lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, positive resection margin, worst pattern of invasion, lymphocytic infiltration and presence of necrosis with that of cervical nodal metastasis.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted on 24 patients of carcinoma oral tongue who underwent resection of the primary with an appropriate neck dissection and their clinical, imaging, and postoperative histopathological findings were correlated.


We found a significant association of the CC (craniocaudal) dimension and radiologically determined DOI (depth of invasion) with the pN also significant association of clinical and radiological DOI with histological DOI. The probability of occult metastasis was found to be more when the MRI-DOI is > 5 mm. The sensitivity and specificity of cN staging were 66.67% and 73.33% respectively. The accuracy of cN was 70.8%.


In the present study a good sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of cN (clinical nodal stage) was found. Craniocaudal (CC) dimension and DOI of the primary tumor measured by MRI is a strong predictor of the disease extension and nodal metastasis. MRI-DOI > 5 mm warrants an elective neck dissection of level I-III. For tumors MRI DOI < 5 mm observation can be recommended with adherence to a strict follow-up.

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Correspondence to Nandhini Maragatham Kubendiran.

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Kubendiran, N.M., Sen, S. & Saha, S. A Clinicopathological Evaluation of the Correlation of Carcinoma Oral Tongue (Anterior Two Thirds) with Cervical Nodal Metastasis to Assess the Level of Neck Dissection: A Hospital Based Prospective Study. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 75, 80–87 (2023).

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