Objects: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for cN0 early oral cancer has been validated by numerous studies. Around 30% of SNLB will detect occult disease. Several clinical and histopathological features of the primary lesion have been claimed to be predictive for occult metastasis in elective neck dissections. The purpose of this study was to assess these factors in the context of SLNB.
Method: Fifty patients undergoing SLNB for early oral cancer from the years 2006 to 2011 were prospectively included. Primary lesions were reviewed for the following clinical and histopathological parameters: age, gender, primary lesion site, and cT, grade of differentiation, degree of keratinization, nuclear polymorphism, number of mitoses, mode of invasion, and lymphoplasmacytic infiltration.
Results: Statistical analysis revealed significance to predict occult metastasis in the SNLB for grade of differentiation ( P < 0.05), and mode of invasion ( P < 0.05). None of the other factors reached significance.
Conclusions: Poorly differentiated carcinomas, and carcinomas with a dissolute mode of invasion show a high probability of positive sentinel lymph node (SLN).
Conflict of interest: None declared.