Poor Correlation of Histologic Parameters Between Biopsy and Resection Specimen in Early Stage Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Eric A. Dik*, Norbertus A. Ipenburg, Sven O. Adriaansens, Peter A. Kessler, Robert J. van Es, Stefan M. Willems

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)


Objectives: Infiltration depth, perineural growth (PG), vascular invasive growth (VG), and infiltrative growth (IG) are associated with regional metastases in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs). Preoperative knowledge of these parameters could facilitate the treatment planning of the neck. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the biopsy specimen correlates with the resection specimen. Methods: In total, 149 patients with a pT1-2cN0 OSCC were included. Biopsy thickness and tumor thickness were analyzed. Occurrence of PG, VG, and IG was determined on biopsy and resection specimens and correlated with the N status and survival. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, and diagnostic gain of the biopsy specimen were calculated. Results: N+ patients showed PG, VG, and IG significantly more often in the resection specimen compared with N-patients (P=.02, P=.001, and P=.001, respectively). Histologic parameters in the biopsy specimens did not correlate with N status or survival. The positive diagnostic gain for biopsy specimens with PG, VG, and IG was 57%, 40%, and 19%, respectively. The negative diagnostic gain was 2%, 0%, and 22%, respectively. Conclusions: Histologic parameters in biopsy specimens do not represent the resection specimen. Determination of histologic parameters in routinely taken biopsy specimens of OSCC is not helpful in deciding whether to treat the neck.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-666
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • Biopsy
  • Histologic growth pattern
  • Intratumor heterogeneity
  • Node-negative neck

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