Management of cervical metastases in supraglottic cancer
A retrospective review of patients from 1979 to 1988 was performed to assess the efficacy of neck dissection, prognostic factors, and the philosophy of treatment of the neck in supraglottic cancer. Of the 89 patients avail able for analysis, 26 were managed by horizontal partial laryngectomy (HPL), 44 by primary radiotherapy (RT), and 19 by total laryngectomy (TL). A total of 41 patients from the group had 63 neck dissections (NDs); 22 had bilateral and 19 unilateral dissections. A correlation of the pN with N staging revealed that when presenting with N2a nodes (>3 cm), one third had contralateral metastases, and with N2b (multiple), 100% had contralateral metastases. In multivariate analysis of the disease-free interval, age and staging emerged as independent prognostic variables. Although we observed no increased morbidity by dissecting the opposite side, our results did not support routine bilateral neck dissection in N0 patients. However, when the nodes are larger than 3 cm, or ipsilateral and multiple, bilateral neck dissection is recommended.