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Table 1 Cervical nodal levels

From: Neck dissections: radical to conservative

Levels Nodes Boundaries
   Superior Inferior Anterior (medial) Posterior (lateral)
IA Submental group Submental nodes Symphysis of mandible Body of hyoid Anterior belly of contralateral digastric muscle Anterior belly of ipsilateral digastric muscle
IB Submandibular group Submandibular nodes Body of mandible Posterior belly of digastric muscle Anterior belly of digastric muscle Stylohyoid muscle
IIA Upper Jugular group Nodes Nodes around upper portions of Internal jugular vein and Accessory Nerve Skull base Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of hyoid bone Stylohyoid muscle Vertical plane defined by the spinal accessory nerve
IIB Upper Jugular group Nodes   Skull base Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of hyoid bone Vertical plane defined by the spinal accessory nerve Lateral border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle
III Mid Jugular group Nodes around mid portions of Internal jugular vein Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of hyoid bone Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of cricoid cartilage Lateral border of the sternohyoid muscle Lateral border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle or sensory branches of the cervical plexus
IV Lower Jugular group Nodes around lower third of IJV Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of cricoid cartilage Clavicle Lateral border of the sternohyoid muscle Lateral border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle or sensory branches of the cervical plexus
VA Posterior triangle group Nodes around lower part of Accessory nerve and transverse cervical vessels Apex of the convergence of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of cricoid cartilage Lateral border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle or sensory branches of the cervical plexus Anterior border of the trapezius muscle
VB Posterior triangle group   Horizontal plane defined by the inferior border of cricoid cartilage Clavicle Lateral border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle or sensory branches of the cervical plexus Anterior border of the trapezius muscle
VI Central or anterior group Nodes surrounding midline visceral structures of neck Hyoid bone Suprasternal Common carotid artery Common carotid artery