Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of level IV metastases in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Methods: The clinical and histopathological data of 111 patients with HNSCC with pN+ neck who underwent a primary tumor resection with unilateral or bilateral neck dissection were analyzed.
Results: Level IV metastases were histopathologically proven in 33 patients (29.7%). Pulmonary metastases were observed in 12 of 33 patients (36.4%) with level IV metastases, and in 13 of 78 patients (16.7%) without level IV metastases (p = .04). Multivariate analyzes revealed a significant association between level IV metastases and pulmonary metastases (p = .038). However, an influence on overall (p = .65) or disease-free survival (p = .66) was not observed.
Conclusion: Level IV metastases seem to be a predictive factor for pulmonary metastases but not for overall and disease-free survival in patients with HNSCC.
Keywords: head and neck cancer; level IV; lymph node metastases; prognosis; pulmonary metastases.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.