Year: 2012 Vol. 78 Ed. 2 - (5º)
Pages: 22 to 26
Prognostic significance of the number of lymph nodes in elective neck dissection for tongue and mouth floor cancers
Author(s): Ali Amar1; Helma Maria Chedid2; Abrão Rapoport3; Claudio Roberto Cernea4; Rogério Aparecido Dedivitis5; Otávio Alberto Curioni6; Lenine Garcia Brandão7
Keywords: carcinoma, squamous cells, lymph nodes, mouth neoplasms, neck dissection.
The presence of metastatic lymph nodes is a relevant aspect in the treatment of head and neck cancer, bringing about a 50% reduction in survival. OBJECTIVE: To assess the number of lymph nodes removed in the neck dissection and their relationship with the prognosis. METHODS: A retrospective study involving 143 patients with tongue and mouth floor epidermoid carcinoma, which histological exam showed no lymph node metastases. Among those, 119 were males and 24 females, with mean age of 54 years. As to the primary tumor site, 65 were in the tongue and 78 in the mouth floor. T stage distribution was of four T1, 84 T2, 36 T3 and 19 T4. We carried out 176 neck dissections, unilateral in 110 cases and bilateral in 33. Of these, 78 were radical and 98 selective. The patients were broken down into three groups, according to the 33 and 66 percentiles of the number of lymph nodes resected. RESULTS: The mean number of resected lymph nodes was 27; 24 in selective dissections and 31 in the complete ones. We did not have statistically significant differences when associated to the T and N stages. CONCLUSIONS: The larger number of lymph nodes dissected in the neck dissection identifies the group of better prognoses among pN0 cases.