Differential diagnosis of cervical lymphadenopathy with intranodal color Doppler flow signals in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma

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Abstract

Objective.

The purpose of this study was to differentiate reactively enlarged cervical nodes from metastatic nodes by means of color Doppler flow imaging in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Study design.

Enlarged lymph nodes with long-axis diameters greater than 10 mm in 30 patients were classified into 4 groups according to color Doppler flow imaging findings. After the patients underwent neck dissection, the findings were correlated with the pathologic features.

Results.

Color Doppler flow imaging detected 58 enlarged nodes with long-axis diameters greater than 10 mm. Thirty-five lymph nodes showed no color flow signals; of these, 32 (91%) were metastatic and 3 were reactive. Of the 12 lymph nodes with central color flow signals, 11 (92%) were reactively enlarged and 1 was metastatic.

Conclusions.

The presence of central signals on color Doppler flow imaging appeared to be a significant parameter associated with reactively enlarged benign nodes in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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