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Cervical lymph node metastases in salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Ning C, Zhao T, Wang Z, Li D, Kou Y, Huang S

Received 5 February 2018

Accepted for publication 9 April 2018

Published 22 June 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 1677—1685

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S164677

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Lu-Zhe Sun


Chunliu Ning,1 Tengfei Zhao,1 Zechen Wang,1 Delong Li,1 Yurong Kou,2 Shaohui Huang1

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Stomatology, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Oral Biology, School of Stomatology, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, People’s Republic of China

Background: The purpose of this research was to determine whether neck dissection is necessary for the adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of head and neck.
Materials and methods: This article screened the abstract and full-text papers that investigated salivary gland primary ACC of head and neck. Two independent reviewers searched for articles published before October 2017 in three databases (Web of Science, PubMed, and Ovid), having no limits in date and language. Statistical data were analyzed statistically by Review Manager 5.3.
Results: In total, 18 studies involving 2993 patients were included in the analysis. Of the 2993 patients, 473 patients had cervical lymph node metastasis, with a merge frequency of 16% (95% CI: 13–19). Among included articles, only 4 involved cervical lymph node occult metastases, with a merge frequency of 14% (95% CI: 9–20). There were 5 articles containing minor salivary glands (MiSGs) involving 370 patients of which 92 patients had cervical lymph node metastases and the merge frequency was 25% (95% CI: 11–38). Moreover, there were 4 studies on major salivary glands involving 904 patients of which 158 patients had cervical lymph node metastases and the merge frequency was 17% (95% CI: 15–20).
Conclusion: Elective neck dissection is unnecessary for all patients with salivary gland ACC of head and neck. Moreover, compared with major salivary glands, MiSGs have a higher cervical lymph node metastases rate in ACC. The overall cervical lymph node metastases rate of MiSGs is 25%, which is enough to attract our attention. Therefore, we suggest that neck dissection might be applied to ACC of MiSGs.

Keywords: adenoid cystic carcinoma, rates of cervical metastases and occult metastases, elective neck dissection, meta-analysis

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