Mandibular cuniculatum carcinoma: apropos of 3 cases and literature review

Head Neck. 2012 Feb;34(2):291-5. doi: 10.1002/hed.21493. Epub 2010 Jul 27.


Background: Cuniculatum carcinoma is a well-differentiated form of squamous cell carcinoma that shares histologic characteristics with papillary squamous cell carcinoma and verrucous carcinoma. Cuniculatum carcinoma usually occurs on the plantar region, and only 16 cases involving the oral cavity have been described in the literature.

Methods: The authors have reported 3 cases of mandibular cuniculatum carcinoma. All of the patients were in a great deal of pain. Histologic diagnosis was difficult due to the presence of few cellular atypies. Clinical criteria, osseous lysis, and the coexistence of multiple intraosseous well-differentiated, hyperkeratotic papillomatous lesions with few cellular atypies sign the diagnosis.

Results: No local recurrence has been reported after treatment with radical surgery alone.

Conclusion: The diagnosis is often delayed. Although cuniculatum carcinoma displays aggressive behavior locally, lymph node infiltration and metastasis are rare. The therapy of choice is surgical removal with free margins, after which the prognosis is excellent.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandibular Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Mandibular Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mandibular Neoplasms / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed