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Table 2 Differences in clinical characteristics for high and low NLR groups

From: Systemic inflammation is an independent predictive marker of clinical outcomes in mucosal squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in oropharyngeal and non-oropharyngeal patients

Characteristic All patients (N = 145)a Oropharyngeal (n = 76)a Non-oropharyngeal (n = 69)a
NLR ≤ 5 (n = 116) NLR > 5 (n = 29) p value* NLR ≤ 5 (n = 60) NLR > 5 (n =16) p value* NLR ≤ 5 (n = 56) NLR > 5 (n = 13) p value*
Age, median years (range) 61 (32–86) 67 (28–86) 0.2 57.5 (32–83) 64 (47–81) 0.07 65 (38–86) 70 (28–86) 0.8
Sex, n (%)    1    1    1
Male 92 (79) 23 (79)   49 (82) 13 (81)   43 (77) 10 (77)  
Female 24 (21) 6 (21)   11 (18) 3 (19)   13 (23) 3 (23)  
ECOG PS, n (%)    0.5    0.5    0.3
0 84 (73) 18 (62)   51 (85) 13 (81)   33 (60) 5 (38)  
1 24 (21) 8 (28)   8 (13) 2 (13)   16 (29) 6 (46)  
2 7 (6) 3 (10)   1 (2) 1 (6)   6 (11) 2 (15)  
Smoking status, n (%)    0.8    0.9    0.4
Non-smoker 35 (31) 9 (32)   19 (32) 5 (31)   16 (29) 4 (33)  
Ex-smoker 48 (42) 13 (46)   29 (49) 7 (44)   19 (35) 6 (50)  
Current smoker 31 (27) 6 (21)   11 (19) 4 (25)   20 (36) 2 (17)  
Tumour site, n (%)    0.7    -    0.6
Lip and oral cavity 20 (17) 5 (17)   0 (0) 0 (0)   20 (36) 5 (38)  
Nasopharynx 8 (7) 0 (0)   0 (0) 0 (0)   8 (14) 0 (0)  
Oropharynx 60 (52) 16 (55)   60 (100) 16 (100)   0 (0) 0 (0)  
Hypopharynx 9 (8) 3 (10)   0 (0) 0 (0)   9 (16) 3 (23)  
Larynx 19 (16) 5 (17)   0 (0) 0 (0)   19 (34) 5 (38)  
Tumour stage, n (%)    0.7    0.3    0.8
T1 31 (27) 4 (14)   22 (37) 2 (13)   9 (16) 2 (15)  
T2 38 (33) 14 (48)   21 (35) 8 (50)   17 (30) 6 (46)  
T3 29 (25) 7 (24)   11 (18) 4 (25)   18 (32) 3 (23)  
T4 18 (16) 4 (14)   6 (10) 2 (13)   12 (21) 2 (15)  
Nodal stage, n (%)    0.5    0.8    0.3
N0 37 (32) 7 (24)   10 (17) 1 (6)   27 (48) 6 (46)  
N1 26 (22) 10 (35)   17 (28) 5 (31)   9 (16) 5 (38)  
N2 48 (41) 12 (41)   31 (52) 10 (63)   17 (30) 2 (15)  
N3 5 (4) 0 (0)   2 (3) 0 (0)   3 (5) 0 (0)  
AJCC stage, n (%)    0.9    0.9    0.5
I 7 (6) 2 (7)   4 (7) 0 (0)   3 (5) 2 (15)  
II 27 (23) 8 (28)   14 (23) 4 (25)   13 (23) 4 (31)  
III 59 (51) 15 (52)   34 (57) 10 (63)   25 (45) 5 (38)  
IV 23 (20) 4 (14)   8 (13) 2 (13)   15 (27) 2 (15)  
p16 tumour status, n (%)    0.8    0.6    0.2
Negative 39 (51) 9 (47)   5 (14) 2 (25)   34 (85) 7 (64)  
Positive 37 (49) 10 (53)   31 (86) 6 (75)   6 (15) 4 (36)  
Treatment, n (%)    0.8    0.8    0.8
Radiotherapy 14 (12) 3 (10)   9 (15) 1 (6)   5 (9) 2 (15)  
Postoperative radiotherapy 24 (21) 5 (17)   3 (5) 0 (0)   21 (38) 5 (38)  
Chemoradiotherapy 68 (59) 20 (69)   46 (77) 15 (94)   22 (39) 5 (38)  
Postoperative chemoradiotherapy 10 (9) 1 (3)   2 (3) 0 (0)   8 (14) 1 (8)  
Neutrophils, median counts (range) 4.55 (1.10-11.80) 6.80 (3.2-11.90) <0.001 4.40 (1.10-9.30) 7.85 (3.90-11.90) <0.001 5.15 (2.10-2.80) 6.50 (3.20-11.80) <0.01
Lymphocytes, median counts (range) 1.75 (0.50-10.70) 1.10 (0.20-1.70) <0.001 1.65 (0.50-3.40) 1.10 (0.40-1.70) <0.001 1.90 (0.60-10.70) 1.00 (0.20-1.50) <0.001
NLR, median counts (range) 2.69 (0.41-5.00) 6.71 (5.09-29.75) <0.001 2.71 (1.30-4.78) 6.41 (5.09-29.75) <0.001 2.64 (0.41-5.00) 7.00 (5.55-16.00) <0.001
  1. Abbreviations: NLR neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, ECOG PS Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status and AJCC American Joint Committee on Cancer
  2. *, appropriate statistical test (Students t-test, Mann Whitney-U, χ2 test or Fishers exact test) conducted between high and low NLR patients and a, missing values excluded from table and statistical analysis