Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The depth of invasion is considered to be a predictor of occult metastases in the neck in patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but investigators do not agree about the depth at which the risk rises dramatically. As the association between depth of invasion of pT1 SCC of the oral tongue and occult metastases in the neck remains unknown, we collected data on patients with the disease and recorded the depth and pattern of invasion, neurovascular invasion, and presence of occult metastases. When all other factors were constant, the odds ratio for each millimetre increase in depth and risk of occult metastases was 1.09 (95% CI: 0.95 to 1.25, p=0.23), which was not significant. Depth of invasion is not accurate and cannot be used as predictor of occult metastases in the neck in patients with pT1 SCC of the tongue.

Original publication




Journal article


The British journal of oral & maxillofacial surgery

Publication Date



Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK. Electronic address: