Objectives: To review our results with elective superior mediastinal lymph node dissections in patients with advanced laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA) and overt level 4 adenopathy.
Study Design: Retrospective review.
Methods: We searched operative case logs for all patients treated with an elective superior mediastinal dissection by the senior author (Y.D.) during a 7-year period. Charts were reviewed for demographic information, prior treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and pathologic results.
Results: Fifty-six patients who underwent elective superior mediastinal lymph node dissection for advanced laryngeal SCCA and overt level 4 adenopathy were reviewed, and superior mediastinal disease was present in 15 of 56 (26.8%) patients. Superior mediastinal nodes were positive in 11 of 42 (26.2%) patients with advanced laryngeal SCCA and 4 of 14 (28.6%) patients with N3 SCCA involving level 4. Patients with SCCA receiving prior chemotherapy and radiotherapy had a significantly higher rate of positive superior mediastinal nodes (10/21 patients, 47.6%) compared with patients without prior therapy (5/35 patients, 14.3%, P = .01, Fisher's exact test). There were no stomal recurrences in 42 patients treated for advanced laryngeal cancer.
Conclusions: Elective transcervical superior mediastinal dissection was positive in 26.8% of patients with advanced laryngeal cancer or N3 disease in level 4. A transcervical superior mediastinal dissection may be safely performed without a sternotomy.