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Table 1. Regional Lymph Nodes (N)a

NXRegional lymph nodes cannot be assessed.
N0No regional lymph node metastasis.
N1bMetastasis in a single ipsilateral lymph node, ≤3 cm in greatest dimension.
N2bMetastasis in a single isilateral lymph node, >3 cm but not >6 cm in greatest dimension; or in multiple ipsilateral lymph nodes, none >6 cm in greatest dimension; or in bilateral or contralateral lymph nodes, none >6 cm in greatest dimension.
N2abMetastasis in single ipsilateral lymph node >3 cm but not >6 cm in greatest dimension.
N2bbMetastases in multiple ipsilateral lymph nodes, none >6 cm in greatest dimension.
N2cbMetastases in bilateral or contralateral lymph nodes, none >6 cm in greatest dimension.
N3bMetastasis in a lymph node >6 cm in greatest dimension.

aReprinted with permission from AJCC: Head and neck. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 21-8.
bA designation of "U" or "L" may be used for any N stage to indicate metastasis above the lower border of the cricoid (U) or below the lower border of the cricoid (L). Similarly, clinical/radiological ECS should be recorded as E-- or E+, and histopathologic ECS should be designated En, Em, or Eg.