THE PRIMARY GOALS OF this interdisciplinary consensus statement are to review the relevant anatomy of the central neck compartment, to identify the nodal subgroups within the central compartment commonly involved in thyroid cancer, and to define a consistent terminology relevant to the central neck dissection. Uniformity in definition may lead to more uniform central neck surgery and may facilitate consistent and clear communication among physicians involved in the management of patients with thyroid cancer.
Optimizing patient outcomes in thyroid cancer management involves balancing risk from treatment with risk from disease, and decisions about when to perform a central neck dissection are made individually. Specific recommendations regarding indications for central neck dissection are beyond the scope of this consensus statement. However, evidence-based guidelines provide published recommendations (1) that are revised and updated over time (2).