Feasibility and relevance of level I substation node counts in oropharyngeal carcinoma

Christopher H. Rassekh, Bert W. O'Malley, Arnaud Bewley, Kathleen T. Montone, Virginia A. Livolsi, Gregory S. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The inclusion of level I in neck dissections for oropharyngeal carcinoma remains controversial. Our objectives were to evaluate the feasibility and relevance of substation node counts in level I of the neck dissection and to determine the specific substation location of metastases in level I in oropharyngeal carcinoma. Methods: Sixty specimens were retrospectively analyzed after an orientation using a new paradigm of demarcating level I specimens into 8 substations. Results: Three of the specimens (5%) in this study showed nodal metastasis in level I, one each in 3 different substations. All positive nodes in level I were associated with N+ disease in level II with 2 being radiographically occult (3.3%). Average total node count for level I was 8.1 (range, 2–19). Conclusion: In oropharyngeal carcinoma, substation level I node quantification is feasible and relevant. This study shows a 5% risk to level I with metastasis in 3 different substations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1200
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • neck dissection
  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • substations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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