Histopathological comparison of pleomorphic adenomas of the parotid and submandibular gland

Oral Dis. 2022 May;28(4):1131-1136. doi: 10.1111/odi.13858. Epub 2021 Apr 5.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the histopathological findings in pleomorphic adenomas (PA) of the parotid and submandibular gland with emphasis on the histological subtype and capsular characteristics.

Materials and methods: The histopathological specimens of all patients with PAs of the parotid and submandibular gland between 2000 and 2020 were re-examined by an experienced head and neck pathologist. Patients without representative slides allowing evaluation of the whole periphery of the PA were excluded from our study sample.

Results: Nine hundred and thirty-four patients formed our study sample (327 men, 607 women, male-to-female ratio: 0.53:1). Eight hundred and forty-four cases had a PA in the parotid gland and the remaining 90 in the submandibular gland. Our comparative analysis showed that submandibular PAs are characterized by the consistent presence of an intact anatomical capsule, infrequent occurrence of pseudopodia and satellite nodules, and a low proportion of the high-risk myxoid subtype.

Conclusion: Our study highlights significant differences between PAs of the parotid and submandibular glands in their histopathological characteristics. Their differences likely underlie the favorable surgical outcome observed in PAs of the submandibular glands and may explain the propensity of PAs of the parotid glands for local recurrences.

Keywords: capsule; parotid gland; pleomorphic adenoma; satellite nodules; submandibular gland.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic* / pathology
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic* / surgery
  • Female
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parotid Gland / pathology
  • Parotid Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Submandibular Gland / pathology