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Is Site-Specific Assessment of Neck Nodes Relevant for Neck Dissection

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To highlight the strategy of neck dissection for various subsites of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Materials & Methodology

Retrospective study of 153 patients with 164 neck dissection was involved between 2010 and 2016. Predictor variables were patient demographics, biopsy reports, imaging assessment and outcome variables were type of neck dissection and reconstruction performed and histological assessment of regional metastasis to the neck in relation to various primary subsites was carried out.


Out of 153 patients, 126 (82.3%) were males and 27 (17.6%) were females with male-to-female ratio being 4.6:1. The mean age among the patients was 49.9 which ranged from 20 to 80 years. Lymph node metastasis was found in 22.6% of T1 and T2 tumors and 77.4% of T3 and T4 tumors. Incidence for gingivobuccal sulcus accounted for 49.6% of primary sites, tongue and floor of the mouth for 15.2%, retromolar trigone for 11.7%, lower alveolus for 8.6%, upper alveolus for 5.9%, lower lip for 3.9%, buccal mucosa for 3.3% and hard palate for 2.6%. Histologically metastasis was seen in level Ib (46%), IIa (33.1%) followed by others. Level V involvement was seen only in 5.5%.


For all subsites for N0 neck, minimum level III clearance should be performed, and for positive neck in RMT region, level IV or level V clearance is warranted. Apart from subsite, other factors to be considered are tumor stage, tumor thickness (DOI) and morphological characteristics of the primary tumor. The role of lymph node metastasis, number, size, extracapsular spread, its proximity and fixity to greater vessels in the neck.

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Authors would like to declare there is no funding from institution or commercial company with regard to this study.

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Correspondence to Venkatesh Srinivasa Rao Anehosur.

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The manuscript and study were cleared for publication from institutional review board (IRB No: 2017/P/OS/62).

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Yadav, V.S., Anehosur, V.S.R., Adirajaiah, S. et al. Is Site-Specific Assessment of Neck Nodes Relevant for Neck Dissection. J. Maxillofac. Oral Surg. 20, 566–572 (2021).

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