Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Surg. 2004 Mar;239(3):428-31.

Incidence of perioperative stroke after neck dissection for head and neck cancer: a regional outcome analysis.

Author information

Department of Surgery, the Centre for Health and Policy Studies, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



To determine the incidence of perioperative stroke in patients undergoing a neck dissection.


The incidence of perioperative stroke in non-head and neck surgery is between 0.08 and 0.2%. In contrast, a critical review of the literature identified 2 studies stating the incidence of perioperative stroke in head and neck surgery to be 3.2% and 4.8%. The implications of these results are significant because they suggest a potential need for preoperative screening and/or intervention for carotid artery pathology.


This historical cohort study was conducted using discharge data for all neck dissections performed in a geographically-defined health region in Alberta, Canada, from 1994 to 2002. Subjects were selected for study if they had an assigned ICD-9CM procedure code for a neck dissection at one of the region's 3 adult-care hospitals. Our main outcome measure was perioperative stroke.


Patients (n = 499) were identified as having had a neck dissection (mean age 56.5 +/- 15.3 SD, 65.3% male). Seven patients had ICD-9CM codes for postoperative central nervous system complications (incidence of 1.4%). However, on chart review, only one had had a true perioperative stroke corresponding to an incidence of 0.2% (95% confidence interval 0.01, 1.12). No missed strokes were found in a confirmatory random review of 10% of charts.


The incidence of perioperative stroke in this study is significantly lower than that previously stated in the literature. This suggests that preoperative screening and/or intervention for carotid artery disease may not be necessary in this patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center