Aims. The goal of this study was to investigate the incidence of occult metastasis in perivascular lymph node and nodal recurrence in these nodal pads in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tongue and floor of mouth. Methods. We performed a prospective analysis of the incidence of an occult metastasis in the perivascular lymph nodes in 55 patients (41 with an oral tongue carcinoma and 14 with a mouth floor carcinoma) who underwent an elective supraomohyoid neck dissection (SOHND) for SCC of the tongue and floor of mouth, from 1997 to 2002. 99 SOHND procedures were performed as follows: 72 in tongue carcinomas and 27 in the mouth floor carcinomas. Result. Clinically occult, but pathologically positive perivascular lymph nodes occurred in four of 72 of the tongue carcinomas and two of 27 of the mouth floor carcinomas. The incidence of the regional recurrence at level I was three of 45. Conclusions. This preliminary report reveals a small incidence of perivascular lymph-node metastases and the infrequent nodal recurrence in this area after SOHND in early-staged tongue and floor of mouth SCC.
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