Metastases to the lingual nodes in tongue cancer: A pitfall in a conventional neck dissection

Mizuo Ando, Masao Asai, Takayuki Ono, Yukihiro Nakanishi, Takahiro Asakage, Tatsuya Yamasoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some classical textbooks of anatomy provided a detailed description of the lingual nodes, which are small inconstant lymph nodes in the floor-of-mouth and the upper neck. The clinical importance of these lymph nodes in cancer therapy, however, has been underestimated so far. We previously reported an extremely poor prognosis of oral tongue cancer patients who had lesions at the root of the lingual artery and assumed that metastases in occult lingual nodes might be responsible for such lesions. This case report clearly demonstrates the distinctive draining course of the lateral lingual nodes, which may potentially be left untreated by a neck dissection. A 63-year-old Japanese male with T2 squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue showed multiple metastatic involvements of the lateral lingual nodes; three nodes in close contact with the sublingual gland, and one node at the root of the lingual artery. A systematic inspection of lymph nodes along the draining course of the lateral lingual nodes should be included, because a neck dissection in continuity with the primary tumor (a pull-through approach) is still inadequate for the removal of the lymph nodes at the root of the lingual artery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-389
Number of pages4
JournalAuris Nasus Larynx
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Lingual artery
  • Lymph node
  • Neck dissection
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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