Atypical features in pleomorphic adenoma--a clinicopathologic study and implications for management

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Jul;35(7):608-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2006.02.009. Epub 2006 Mar 15.


Pleomorphic adenoma is the most common salivary gland neoplasm and infrequently undergoes malignant transformation. Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma is typically an infiltrative neoplasm with features of cellular pleomorphism, high mitotic activity, peri-neural and vascular invasion. More recently, sub-groups of pleomorphic adenoma have been described exhibiting vascular invasion and features of malignancy without evidence of extra-capsular extension. There is little information in the literature regarding how these different histological variants influence clinical presentation and outcome following primary treatment. Following a review of 100 consecutive pleomorphic adenomas removed from the major salivary glands, 4 cases with atypical histological features were found. Three tumours exhibited features of dysplasia/carcinoma without evidence of extra-capsular invasion and a further case demonstrated benign vascular invasion. There were no clinical features suggestive of the atypical nature of these neoplasms, though fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) was suspicious of a malignancy in 2 cases and CT scan in 1 case. Patients underwent a superficial parotidectomy or submandibular gland excision based on the location of the lesion. All lesions were completely excised and there were no recurrences in this series.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / pathology*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology*