Oncocytes are epithelial cells with abundant, granular, eosinophilic cytoplasm due to presence of numerous large mitochondria of varied sizes. The presence of oncocytes in salivary glands can occur in a variety of conditions. Here, we present a rare case of a 68 year old male patient who presented with a 6 cm diameter swelling in the right parotid region. A fine needle aspiration cytology done from the lesion showed a cellular oncocytic lesion. A possibility of oncocytoma was entertained. Histopathology of the mass showed a rare entity called diffuse hyperplastic oncocytosis. Originally believed to be a metaplastic process, oncocytes can occur in various lesions ranging from hyperplastic conditions to malignant neoplasms. However, diagnosis on cytological smears can be very challenging for the cytopathologist.
Keywords: Fine needle aspiration cytology; oncocytes; parotid gland.