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Title: Quantification of level I neck lymph nodes for lymph node transfer in lymphedema treatment: an anatomical study and review of literature.
Austin Authors: Rozen, Warren M;Niumsawatt, Vachara;Gibson, Luke D;Seth, Ishith;Hunter-Smith, David J;Ek, Edmund W
Affiliation: Peninsula Clinical School, Central Clinical School at Monash University, The Alfred Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Surgery, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Surgery, Dandenong Hospital, Monash University, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2023
Date: 2023
Publication information: Gland Surgery 2023-07-31; 12(7)
Abstract: Vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT) is an effective microsurgical method for the treatment of lymphedema. Knowledge of lymph node quantity and regional anatomy of donor sites are essential for surgery optimization. The aim of the study was to quantify the level I lymph nodes of the neck (submental and submandibular lymph nodes), describe the regional anatomy and review the current literature. Level I lymph nodes were identified from pathology specimens of 73 patients in Melbourne, Australia who underwent radical, modified, and selective neck dissection were quantified. Level I was further subcategorized into levels IA (submental) and IB (submandibular), with data assessed qualitatively and quantitatively. PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Cochrane CENTRAL, and trial registries ( were searched for relevant studies published from infinity to December 2021. A mean of 5.2±2.9 lymph nodes were identified in the level I neck region. Subcategorization into level IA and level IB showed means of 3.7±1.6 and 4.7±3.0 lymph nodes, respectively. No statistical differences were detected regarding patients' gender (P=0.8) and age (P=0.5). Current literature shows level I neck VLNT is a suitable treatment for lymphedema. Level I of the neck offers a consistent quantity of lymph nodes and is suitable for free lymph node transfer. Current literature states VLNT is an effective technique for lymphedema treatment. This study details the regional anatomy of the level I neck lymph nodes, which will assist surgeons to optimize their surgeries and prevent donor-site morbidity.
DOI: 10.21037/gs-23-23
Journal: Gland Surgery
Start page: 875
End page: 883
PubMed URL: 37727337
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Lymph node level I
lymphatic tissue transfer
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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