Patterns of Lymph Node Metastasis in Differentiated Thyroid Cancer; Clinical Implications with Particular Emphasis on the Emerging Role of Compartment-Oriented Lymph Node Dissection

Oncol Res Treat. 2019;42(3):143-147. doi: 10.1159/000488905. Epub 2019 Feb 23.


Recent advances in modern imaging allow an accurate identification of involved or suspicious lymph nodes within the nodal compartments of the neck. Careful ultrasonographic lymphatic mapping of the neck by an experienced radiologist allows a targeted, compartment-oriented (or selective) lymph node dissection to be performed instead of the more extensive modified radical lymph node dissection. Compartment-oriented lymph node dissection necessitates the close cooperation of an experienced radiologist with a particular interest in thyroid and neck ultrasonography. There is emerging evidence that this more conservative strategy allows local control of the disease while at the same time morbidity is minimized and a better cosmetic result is achieved. Further investigation is needed to establish the precise role of this interesting surgical approach.

Keywords: Cancer; Lymph node dissection; Lymph nodes; Metastases; Surgery; Thyroid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neck
  • Neck Dissection / methods*
  • Thyroid Gland / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Gland / pathology
  • Thyroid Gland / surgery
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Thyroidectomy / methods*
  • Ultrasonography