Archives of Head and Neck Surgery
Archives of Head and Neck Surgery
Original Article Lip and oral cavity tumors

Sentinel lymph node biopsy in early oral cavity tumors: evaluation of the oncologic efficacy compared to elective neck dissection

Marco Roberto Seferin, Fábio Roberto Pinto, Chin Shien Lin, Ana Kober Nogueira Leite, Paulo Vitor Sola Gimenes, Rogerio Aparecido Dedivitis, Marco Aurélio Vamondes Kulcsar, Claudio Roberto Cernea, Leandro Luongo Matos

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Introduction: In recent years, there has been a polarization around the discussion of neck management in patients with oral malignant neoplasm without evidence of lymph node involvement, regarding selective neck dissection (SND) of levels I, II and III, sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLB) and just surveillance. Objective: To describe the oncological results of a prospective study in the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy as part of the surgical treatment of squamous cell carcinoma T1/T2N0 of the oral cavity in comparison to the results of patients submitted to levels I, II and III SND. Methods: It was a prospective study in which seventy patients were divided into two groups, 35 being submitted to SND and the other 35 to SLB. Results: In the SND group, locoregional recurrence occurred in 17.1%, with a 2.9% development of distant metastasis and 8.8% evolved with a second primary tumor. In the SLB, locoregional recurrence was observed in 7 patients (20.0%), 5.7% developed distant metastasis, and 5.7% had a second primary tumor. There was no significant difference between the two groups for both overall (p = 0.521) and disease-free survival (p = 0.753). Conclusion: A SLB is reliable for the management of clinically negative neck in patients with oral T1/T2N0 squamous cell carcinoma.


mouth neoplasms; sentinel lymph node biopsy; lymphatic metastasis; prognosis; survival.


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