Background: We aimed to analyze the distribution of regional nodal metastases according to primary tumor location in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
Methods: Analysis of 295 neck dissections performed for patients with clinically evident regional metastases from cutaneous SCCHN between 1987 and 2009.
Results: Level I involvement in the absence of level II or III only occurred in patients with facial primaries. In patients with clear nodes in level II-III, the risk of level IV-V involvement was 0.0% for external ear primaries, 2.7% for face and anterior scalp, and 15.8% for posterior scalp and neck.
Conclusion: In patients undergoing parotidectomy for metastatic cutaneous SCCHN with a clinically negative neck, the results of this study support selective neck dissection including level I-III for facial primaries, level II-III for anterior scalp and external ear primaries, and levels II-V for posterior scalp and neck primaries.
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.