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Karle W.E.,Yeshiva University | Anand S.M.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Clain J.B.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Scherl S.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Head and Neck | Year: 2013

Background For patients who have extensive prior treatment, use of the internal mammary artery/vein (IMA/IMV) or cephalic vein has been shown to be a reliable option. Additionally, for those patients who require vascularized bone and extensive soft tissue reconstruction, the combined latissimus dorsi scapular free flap (mega-flap) is an excellent option. Methods We reviewed 3 cases in which extensive prior surgery and radiation precluded the use of traditional recipient vessels in the neck. Results Three patients with major jaw deformities were reconstructed using a mega-flap. In all cases, saphenous vein grafting succeeded in achieving arterial inflow from the IMA to the subscapular artery. Venous egress was achieved using a vein graft to the IMV in 1 patient and a transposed cephalic vein in the remaining 2 patients. Conclusions This approach of restoring large oral cavity defects for patients with extensive prior therapy and comorbid conditions has proven to be reliable and reproducible. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals Inc.

Scherl S.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Mehra S.,Yale University | Clain J.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Dos Reis L.L.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Thyroid | Year: 2014

Background: Prophylactic central neck dissection (PCND) for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is controversial. Recent publications suggest that the number and size of nodes and the presence of extranodal extension (ENE) are important features for risk stratification of lymph node metastases. We analyzed these features in clinically unapparent nodes that would not otherwise be removed. We also investigated the impact of surgeon experience on the ability to detect metastatic lymph nodes intraoperatively. Methods: Forty-seven patients with well-differentiated PTC, with no preoperative evidence of central metastases, were included in this study. Intraoperatively, clinically apparent disease was determined by inspection and palpation by the senior surgeon and a fellow/senior resident, and recorded in a blinded fashion. Rate of occult metastases based on intraoperative evaluation were tabulated for each group of surgeons. Histopathologic features of occult nodes were analyzed to determine what clinicians would be missing by foregoing a PCND, and how that would have impacted the patient management. Results: The rate of occult metastases, based on senior surgeon assessment, was 26%, and did not differ significantly from fellow/senior resident assessment. The level of agreement between these two surgeon groups was moderate (k=0.665). Analysis of the false negative cases revealed that the size of the largest undetected node ranged from 0.1 to 1.3cm; 36% of patients with occult metastases demonstrated five or more positive nodes, and 27% showed ENE. Discussion: Clinical assessment based on intraoperative inspection and palpation had poor sensitivity and specificity in identifying metastatic central nodes, regardless of the level of experience of the surgeon. There was moderate agreement between surgeons of different experience levels. Sensitivity improved significantly with larger size of positive nodes, but not with the presence of multiple positive nodes or presence of ENE. In foregoing PCND in this patient population, our results suggest that treating clinicians miss potentially virulent disease with a large number of occult positive central nodes and occult nodes with ENE. This is the first report to address the pathologic features of clinically nonevident central nodes showing a high incidence of clinically relevant, adverse histologic features, as well as the impact of surgeon experience in performing the important intraoperative determination of whether there are clinically evident nodes that require removal. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014.

Gibber M.J.,Montefiore Green Medical Arts Pavilion | Clain J.B.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Jacobson A.S.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Buchbinder D.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
Head and Neck | Year: 2015

Background Review patient and defect factors in which this donor site is an optimal choice for reconstruction and to discuss strategies to overcome the perceived drawbacks of this system of flaps. Methods A retrospective medical chart review was conducted on all patients who underwent the subscapular system of free flaps for head and neck reconstruction. Results Ninety-eight reconstructions were performed for mandibular defects, 4 for maxillary defects alone and 3 for combined mandible-maxilla defects. The overall success rate was 98%. Conclusion The subscapular system of free flaps is an excellent option in patients for whom the alternative donor sites are either not usable or lack the associated soft tissue elements required for a successful reconstruction. This flap should also be considered as a first choice for patients with complex/extensive surgical defects requiring multiple, independently mobile, soft tissue components; in patients who will benefit from a large muscle flap placed over the vital structures in the neck; patients of advanced age; and patients in whom early mobilization is critical. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Scherl S.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Alon E.E.,Chaim Sheba Medical Center | E. Karle W.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | E. Karle W.,Yeshiva University | And 3 more authors.
Thyroid | Year: 2013

Background: Thyroid carcinoma with tracheal invasion is uncommon; however, this is significantly more prevalent than primary tracheal tumors. Rare tracheal tumors at the level of the thyroid can be misinterpreted as invasive thyroid cancer upon initial diagnosis. We present a series of tumors within the tracheal wall that were initially misdiagnosed as isolated, but aggressive, thyroid cancer, and later diagnosed to be different histopathologic entities. Methods: The series consisted of four women and five men, all but two age 60 or older, who were initially diagnosed with tracheal invasion from differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). Eight had obstructive airway symptoms and one experienced gagging and choking sensations. Preoperatively, the patients underwent fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and imaging studies. A complete resection of the involved airway in combination with the thyroid gland was performed in all patients. Results: In this series of patients, the final diagnosis was tracheal stenosis, recurrent laryngeal nerve schwannoma, papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) with benign intratracheal thyroid tissue, adenoid cystic carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, each in one patient. Two patients had a tracheal chondrosarcoma, and two patients had collision tumors (PTC with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma). All patients were misunderstood preoperatively as having isolated DTC with aggressive involvement of the trachea. An accurate diagnosis in these cases was difficult due to misleading FNA readings, thought due to the FNA needle passing through the thyroid before reaching the trachea or a tumor that abuts both structures on imaging. Primary tracheal tumors and a nontumorous lesion, as well as benign thyroidal masses, mimicked invasive thyroid carcinoma in this preoperative setting. Conclusions: Various entities other than thyroid cancer can masquerade as invasive thyroid cancer. In patients with an FNA showing thyroid tissue or suggesting PTC, but also have obstructive or other airway symptoms, physician awareness is needed to consider the distinct possibility of a primary tracheal lesion. Obtaining the correct preoperative diagnosis is essential for accurate surgical planning for patients with tracheal tumors. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Clain J.B.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Mehra S.,Yale University | Scherl S.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | Dos Reis L.L.,Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer Foundation | And 4 more authors.
Endocrine Pathology | Year: 2014

Extranodal extension (ENE) is an indicator of poor prognosis in well-differentiated thyroid cancer (WDTC). We have demonstrated that extrathyroidal extension (ETE) predicts ENE in patients with positive lymph nodes, indicating concordance between primary tumor and lymph node biology. In an effort to determine if there were other histologic features of the primary tumors that indicated an aggressive biology, we examined a subset of patients with intrathyroidal (T1/T2) disease whose lymph nodes had ENE. A review was conducted from January 2004 to March 2013. The histologic features of ETE-negative/ENE-positive tumors (group A, 12 cases) were compared with a random sample of ETE-negative/ENE-negative node-positive patients (group B, 27 cases). Cases were reviewed for size, capsule presence, infiltration, sclerosis, lymphocytic thyroiditis (LT), psammoma bodies, lymphovascular invasion (LVI), perineural invasion (PNI), architecture/cytomorphology, and focality. Size was compared using the Mann-Whitney test, while the remaining features were compared using a Fischer exact test. The breakdown of pathologic features of groups A/B were as follows: 2.28 cm/1.46 cm mean tumor size, 90 %/67 % unencapsulated, 100 %/89 % infiltrative, 100 %/89 % sclerotic, 60 %/52 % LT, 30 %/59 % positive psammoma bodies, 0 %/11 % LVI, 0 %/4 % PNI, 90 %/96 % classic architecture, 50 %/44 % multifocal. Neither size (p = 0.072) nor the other nine histologic features examined reached statistical significance. None of the histologic features appeared to significantly predict ENE. Further examination of intrathyroidal tumors at a molecular level is necessary to determine if there are any identifiable features of intrathyroidal tumors that predict ENE and thus a more aggressive phenotype. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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