Consensus statement on the classification and terminology of neck dissection

K Thomas Robbins, Ashok R Shaha, Jesus E Medina, Joseph A Califano, Gregory T Wolf, Alfio Ferlito, Peter M Som, Terry A Day
Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery 2008, 134 (5): 536-8

OBJECTIVE: To update the guidelines for neck dissection terminology, as previously recommended by the American Head and Neck Society.

PARTICIPANTS: Committee for Neck Dissection Classification, American Head and Neck Society; representation from the Committee for Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (T.A.D.).

EVIDENCE: Review of current literature on neck dissection classification.

CONSENSUS PROCESS: Semiannual face-to-face meetings of the Committee for Neck Dissection Terminology and e-mail correspondence.

CONCLUSIONS: Standardization of terminology for neck dissection is important for communication among clinicians and researchers. New recommendations have been made regarding the following: boundaries between levels I and II and between levels III/IV and VI; terminology of the superior mediastinal nodes; and the method of submitting surgical specimens for pathologic analysis.

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