To evaluate the rate of occult metastases detected with elective neck dissection during salvage laryngectomy for radiation failures.Retrospective review of 63 patients failing radiation therapy treated with salvage surgery between 1970 and 1999. Charts were reviewed for tumor stage, neck treatment, complications, surgical time, and survival. Median follow-up for patients with glottic and supraglottic cancers was 7.8 and 4.5 years, respectively.Thirty-one of 41 glottic cancer patients received elective neck dissections. Three (10%) of 31 had occult metastases. Recurrent staged rT3 and greater tumors showed a 20% rate of occult metastases. No survival advantage was noted between patients treated with elective neck dissection and those followed expectantly (P = .87). Cartilage invasion and perineural invasion in the larynx were associated with a higher risk of occult metastases (P < .05). Ten of 22 supraglottic cancer patients received elective neck dissections. Two (20%) of 10 had occult metastases, and a statistically significant survival advantage was not noted (P = .49).We recommend bilateral neck dissection at the time of laryngectomy for recurrent staged rT3/4 tumors and all patients with recurrent supraglottic cancers because of the higher rate of occult metastases.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjoto.2005.05.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000233473000005
View details for PubMedID 16275407