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Regional tumor recurrence after supraomohyoid neck dissection.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the recurrence of lymphatic metastases in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity treated with supraomohyoid neck dissection with and without postoperative radiotherapy.

DESIGN: A nonrandomized retrospective study.

SETTING: Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck, State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, a tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS: Thirty-two patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity without previous treatment and a minimum follow-up period of 2 years were studied. There were 36 supraomohyoid neck dissections, of which 31 were elective (clinically negative nodes) and 5 therapeutic (clinically positive nodes).

INTERVENTION: Resection of the primary tumor and supraomohyoid neck dissection, with or without postoperative radiotherapy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Evaluation of neck tumor recurrence according to clinical and histopathological findings in the neck and use of postoperative radiotherapy.

RESULTS: The overall recurrence rate was 6% (2 patients). Recurrences were seen in 1 clinically negative neck (3%) and 1 clinically positive neck (20%). The presence of clinically or histopathologically positive nodes, number of positive nodes, and use of adjuvant radiotherapy did not influence the rate of neck tumor recurrence with a statistically significant difference.

CONCLUSIONS: Neck tumor recurrence in procedures with clinically positive nodes was 6.3 times greater than in those with clinically negative nodes. There was no difference in regional recurrence of histopathologically positive node necks with or without the addition of postoperative radiotherapy. Neck tumor recurrence was not statistically influenced by clinically and histopathologically positive nodes, multiple positive nodes, and use of postoperative radiotherapy.

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