Unilateral Submandibular Gland Aplasia Mimicking Nodal Metastasis

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2020 Apr;42(3):220-221. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001634.


Aplasia of salivary glands is rare and usually involves several major salivary glands. Isolated unilateral submandibular gland aplasia or aplasia accompanied by hypertrophy of contralateral submandibular gland or sublingual glands is a rare entity. The majority of cases are incidentally detected findings in asymptomatic patients; however, imaging findings may mimic mass-like lesions, posing diagnostic challenges in cancer patients. We presented 2 cases, a case with melanoma and an asymptomatic case, who had asymmetric lesion at left submandibular space, demonstrated to represent left submandibular gland accompanied by right submandibular gland aplasia. We aimed to highlight the imaging features for correct identification of these mass-like lesions as normal contralateral salivary gland accompanied by unilateral submandibular gland aplasia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnosis*
  • Submandibular Gland / abnormalities*
  • Submandibular Gland / pathology*