How reliable are frozen sections in predicting the ultimate final margin status for head and neck (HN) squamous cell carcinomas?
Bottom line: Individual frozen section reads are highly accurate, but negative intraoperative margins do not guarantee margin-negative resections.
Explore this issue:August 2016
Background: Intraoperative frozen section assessment of surgical margins for HN squamous cell carcinomas is widely used, but surgeons, institutions, and pathologists use widely varying practices in how they sample tissue and process specimens. There is currently no consensus on how best to examine margins to maximize the utility of frozen sections.
Study design: Retrospective chart review of pathology reports from 437 surgical resections between 2010 and 2013.