OBJECTIVE: To evaluate clinical outcome of low (G1), intermediate (G2), and high-(G3) grade mucoepidermoid carcinomas (MEC) of the parotid gland.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart review including 212 patients. Clinicopathological data was statistically analyzed regarding grading, overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS).
RESULTS: 105 (49.5%) G1, 73 (34.5%) G2, and 34 (16%) G3 MEC were included and 56 (26.4%) patients presented with neck node metastases. The risk of occult nodal metastases was significantly associated with grading and increased from 9.2% in G1 to 26.7% and 27.8% in G2 and G3 tumors, respectively (p = 0.008). Elective periparotid and cervical lymph node dissection was performed in 170 (80.2%) and 70 (33%) patients, respectively. All patients with positive periparotid nodes when subjected to an additional neck dissection had associated cervical neck node involvement (p < 0.001). Grading was an independent significant prognostic factor for OS (HR 4.05; 95%CI: 1.15-14.35; p = 0.030) and DSS (HR 17.35; 95%CI: 1.10-273.53; p = 0.043). In a subgroup analysis, elective neck dissection (END) was also significantly associated with a better DFS (p = 0.041) in neck node-negative G1 MECs.
CONCLUSION: The risk of occult nodal metastasis in intermediate-grade MEC is as high as in high-grade MEC and that END in G1 tumors is associated with a prolonged DFS. Additionally, periparotid node involvement seems to be a predictor for positive neck node involvement. This study presents some preliminary data to consider END in clinically neck node negative patients with parotid MEC; however, larger series are needed.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 2022.
- Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC)
- elective neck dissection
- parotid gland
- Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid/surgery
- Lymphatic Metastasis
- Parotid Gland/pathology
- Retrospective Studies
- Neoplasm Staging
- Neck Dissection
- Parotid Neoplasms/surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas