Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma: a case report and review of literature

Afr Health Sci. 2019 Dec;19(4):3253-3263. doi: 10.4314/ahs.v19i4.50.


Background: Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CA-ex-PA) is extremely unusual in minor salivary glands of oral cavity. CAex-PA is a carcinomatous change as a primary or as a recurrence of pleomorphic adenoma.

Objective: Due to resemblance of clinical symptoms of Ca ex PA and benign pleomorphic adenoma, it is mandatory for surgeons to keep high degree of clinical alertness, considering the peculiarity of this tumor.

Case report: 54-year-old male presented with swelling on left side in the pre-auricular region from the middle of zygomatic arch to mastoid process and from tragus of the ear up to angle of mandible. Fine needle aspiration cytology revealed a mixture of benign and malignant components. Total left parotidectomy with left radical neck dissection followed by reconstruction with cervicodeltopectoral flap was performed. Combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy were given to patient. Histologic examination and pre-operative fine needle aspiration cytology confirmed the diagnosis of Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CA-ex-PA). Two-year follow-up of patient showed no recurrence of the lesion.

Conclusion: Due to the similarity in the clinical symptoms of CA-ex-PA and benign pleomorphic adenoma, it is vital that clinicians maintain a high degree of clinical vigilance, considering the oddity of this malignancy.

Keywords: Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma; Fine needle aspiration cytology; parotidectomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / physiopathology
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / physiopathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • Salivary Gland Adenoma, Pleomorphic