Background: Although the literature has focused on the propensity of uveal melanoma to metastasize to the liver, little attention has been directed to its spread in regional, cervical lymph nodes.
Methods: We reviewed records of 77 patients who underwent primary resection of uveal melanoma during a 15-year period at our institution.
Results: A total of only 6.5% of patients developed cervical metastasis. Factors such as age, race, sex, tumor location, and histology were not influential in identifying these patients. Tumor size and local orbital recurrence were, however, associated with a higher risk of cervical lymphadenopathy (p < 0.05). Cervical metastases were also associated with the presence of distant metastatic disease.
Conclusion: Neck dissection should be reserved for patients with clinically demonstrable lymphadenopathy only after distant disease has been excluded.