Backgrounds and Objectives: The epidemiology and prognostic role of lingual lymph node (LLN) metastasis in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remain unclear. Here, we aimed to analyze the clinicopathological features, risk factors, and prognostic role of LLN metastasis in patients with OSCC. Materials and Methods: In total, 945 patients with OSCC were retrospectively analyzed. Clinicopathological features were compared between patients with and without LLN metastasis. The risk factors of LLN metastasis and its effects on survival outcomes were evaluated using multi-variate analysis. Results: LLN metastasis was noted in 67 patients (7.1%). Habitual alcohol consumption and clinical neck node metastasis were independent risk factors for LLN metastasis. LLN metastasis was an independent prognostic factor for disease-free and overall survival, although LLN dissection did not improve survival outcomes. Conclusion: LLN metastasis is an independent adverse prognostic factor. Further prospective studies are needed to fully assess the extent of LLN dissection required in OSCC patients.
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