International Journal of Head and Neck Surgery

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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 2 ( April-June, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Application of Sentinel Node Biopsy to Nonoral Head and Neck Cancer

Beejal Patel, Clare Schilling

Keywords : Laryngeal cancer, Metastasis, Neck dissection, Salivary cancer, Sentinel node, Thyroid cancer

Citation Information : Patel B, Schilling C. Application of Sentinel Node Biopsy to Nonoral Head and Neck Cancer. Int J Head Neck Surg 2018; 9 (2):71-77.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10001-1339

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-03-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Cervical lymph node status is a significant prognostic factor for all patients with head and neck cancer. There is still ongoing deliberation on the extent of surgical therapy to offer patients, particularly those who have a clinically negative (cN0) neck. Currently, preoperative examination and investigation [routinely ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] are utilized for treatment planning and the extent of surgery based on evidence of metastatic spread or perceived risk of occult metastasis. It has been shown that that sentinel node biopsy (SNB) is a reliable staging test to detect occult metastases in early oral carcinoma, and its routine use has been advocated in the UK by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Sentinel node biopsy can be used in most solid tumors that spread via lymphatics but its application to extraoral head and neck malignancies (other than primary skin tumors) has not been widely reported. In this article, we review the potential application of SNB in new areas of the head and neck.

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