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This study aimed to determine the incidence of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in patients with an isolated cervical cystic mass, and to describe the clinical features that might predict the origin of cystic tumours.
Adult patients with isolated lateral cervical cystic masses who were scheduled for surgery from 1st January 2010 to 31st August 2016 in two tertiary care referral centres in Slovakia were analysed retrospectively.
The incidence of cystic metastases in the whole cohort and in patients aged over 40 years were 9.9 per cent and 18.5 per cent, respectively. The incidence in patients aged over 40 years (18.5 per cent) was statistically significant (p = 0.003).
The incidence of cystic squamous cell carcinoma metastases in lateral cervical cysts in patients aged over 40 years is high enough to call for excisional biopsy with frozen section, panendoscopy with direct biopsies, tonsillectomy and even neck dissection in cases of histologically confirmed carcinoma.
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