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Head Neck Pathol. 2008 Jun;2(2):131-44. doi: 10.1007/s12105-008-0053-6. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Intraoperative consultation (IOC) in mucosal lesions of the upper aerodigestive tract.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals, First Avenue at 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Intraoperative consultation (frozen section) plays an important part in the treatment of the head and neck cancer patient. The appropriate use of intraoperative consultations (frozen sections) usually results in a definitive diagnosis with immediate therapeutic impact while the patient is in the operating room. Among the determinations made by frozen section analysis include the evaluation of adequacy of surgical margins of resection; the differentiation between nonneoplastic, benign and malignant proliferations; the evaluation of lymph nodes for the presence of metastatic disease; the determination of specimen identification and specimen adequacy, including the verification of such organs as the parathyroid glands; and the determination of whether a given case requires special diagnostic testing best performed on frozen material, such as for lymphomas. This paper focuses on intraoperative consultation of mucosal lesions of the upper aerodigestive tract, including epithelial dysplasia and squamous cell carcinoma. Other issues that often not diagnosed or at issue at the time of surgery, including the diagnosis of microinvasive carcinoma and differentiating inflammatory lesions from neoplastic lesions are included for completion.


Accuracy; Frozen section; Intraoperative consultation; Margins of resection; Mucosal dysplasia upper aerodigestive tract; Radiation change; Sentinel lymph nodes; Squamous cell carcinoma

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