Benefits of initial CT staging before sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with head and neck cutaneous melanoma

Anna Hafström, Maria Silfverschiöld, Simon S Persson, Michelle Kanne, Christian Ingvar, Peter Wahlberg, Anton Romell, Lennart Greiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The value of CT at the time of diagnosis for patients with cutaneous head and neck melanoma clinically asymptomatic for metastatic disease is unclear.

METHODS: A retrospective medical chart review was performed on 198 consecutive patients identified with primary T1b-T4b head and neck melanoma clinically asymptomatic for metastatic disease referred for sentinel lymph node biopsy procedures between 2004 and 2014.

RESULTS: Initial CTs identified clinically occult melanoma metastases in 8.1% and advanced second primary tumors in 3.5% of patients. CT findings were false-negative in 1% and false-positive in 6% of patients. Overall survival (OS) for patients with true-positive CT findings was lower than for the other patients (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: CT imaging when staging patients with head and neck melanoma seems to identify more metastases than has been reported for melanoma at other sites. Preoperative CTs decreased the number of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNBs), thus avoiding the stress and cost of this surgical procedure in 12% of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2301-2310
JournalHead and Neck
Volume39
Issue number11
Early online date2017 Aug 21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

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