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Laryngoscope. 1987 Jan;97(1):97-101.

Prognostic factors in cervical lymph node metastasis in upper respiratory and digestive tract carcinomas: study of 1,713 cases during a 15-year period.


A prospective study of 1,713 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck submitted to neck dissection between 1957 and 1973 is presented. We confirm the prognostic significance of the histological analysis of the nodal metastasis. Capsular rupture is the most important factor regardless of the primary site or tumor size. The presence of tumor emboli within lymphatics, the number of invaded nodes, and the number of nodes with capsular rupture are of significance though to a lesser extent. Classification of the clinical characteristics or the nodes provided, in 70% of the patients, a good prediction of histological involvement. In the clinical estimation of histological invasion, an important parameter is the size of the largest node detected, and we suggest this characteristic should be included in the TNM classification of UICC.

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