Frozen Section Analysis in Head and Neck Surgical Pathology: A Narrative Review of the Past, Present, and Future of Intraoperative Pathologic Consultation

Mark L. Urken, Jun Yun, Michael P. Saturno, Lily A. Greenberg, Raymond L. Chai, Kayvon Sharif, Margaret Brandwein-Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Frozen section has remained the diagnostic gold standard for intraoperative pathological evaluation of surgical margins for head and neck specimens. While achieving tumor-free margins is of utmost importance to all head and neck surgeons, in practice, there are numerous debates and a lack of standardization for the role and method of intraoperative pathologic consultation. This review serves as a summary guide to the historical and contemporary practice of frozen section analysis and margin mapping in head and neck cancer. In addition, this review discusses current challenges in head and neck surgical pathology, and introduces 3D scanning as a groundbreaking technology to bypass many of the pitfalls in the current frozen section workflow. The ultimate goal for all head and neck pathologists and surgeons should be to modernize practices and take advantage of new technology, such as virtual 3D specimen mapping techniques, that improves the workflow for intraoperative frozen section analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106445
JournalOral Oncology
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Frozen section
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Intraoperative consultation
  • Margins
  • Pathologic assessment

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