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Histologic evaluation of mandibular and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes during staging of oral malignant melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma in dogs

Grimes, Janet A., Mestrinho, Lisa A., Berg, John, Cass, Sarah, Oblak, Michelle L., Murphy, Susan, Amsellem, Pierre M., Brown, Penny, Hamaide, Annick, Matz, Brad M.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2019 v.254 no.8 pp. 938-943
databases, dogs, histology, image analysis, lymph nodes, medical records, melanoma, metastasis, squamous cell carcinoma
OBJECTIVE To assess histologic evaluation of mandibular lymph nodes (MLNs) and medial retropharyngeal lymph nodes (MRLNs) for metastatic disease during tumor staging for dogs with oral malignant melanoma (OMM) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). DESIGN Retrospective multi-institutional study. ANIMALS 27 dogs with OMM and 21 dogs with OSCC. PROCEDURES Medical record databases of 8 institutions were searched to identify dogs with OMM or OSCC that underwent unilateral or bilateral extirpation of the MLNs and MRLNs during the same procedure between January 2004 and April 2016. Information extracted from the records included signalment, primary mass location and size, diagnostic imaging results, histologic results for the primary tumor and all lymph nodes evaluated, and whether distant metastasis developed. RESULTS Prevalence of lymph node metastasis did not differ significantly between dogs with OMM (10/27 [37%]) and dogs with OSCC (6/21 [29%]). Distant metastasis was identified in 11 (41%) dogs with OMM and was suspected in 1 dog with OSCC. The MRLN was affected in 13 of 16 dogs with lymph node metastasis, and 3 of those dogs had metastasis to the MRLN without concurrent metastasis to an MLN. Metastasis was identified in lymph nodes contralateral to the primary tumor in 4 of 17 dogs that underwent contralateral lymph node removal. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated histologic evaluation of only 1 MLN was insufficient to definitively rule out lymph node metastasis in dogs with OMM or OSCC; therefore, bilateral lymphadenectomy of the MLN and MRLN lymphocentra is recommended for such dogs.