A Cautionary Tale: A Case Report Describing a Benign Parotid Oncocytoma Diagnosed as Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma on Fine Needle Aspirate

Cureus. 2023 Dec 20;15(12):e50853. doi: 10.7759/cureus.50853. eCollection 2023 Dec.


Parotid oncocytoma is a rare salivary gland tumour. Management does not require surgical intervention if diagnosed on a preoperative biopsy. A 64-year-old man presented with a parotid mass diagnosed as mcSCC on fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). Surgical histopathology following parotidectomy demonstrated an oncocytoma of the parotid gland. Parotid oncocytomas are rare; therefore, diagnosis can be difficult. An MRI, CT, and US-guided biopsy are required for diagnosis. Ultrasound-guided core biopsy (UGSB) is more sensitive and specific when compared to FNAC for diagnosing malignant tumours. Diagnoses of benign salivary gland tumours on biopsy remain challenging. The aim of this article is to highlight the difficulty of diagnosing salivary gland tumours. We further aim to outline the contributing features that lead to this misdiagnosis and suggest steps to circumvent it in the future. This report describes the challenges in diagnosing salivary gland tumours and outlines the contributing features of this misdiagnosis. We add to the literature an additional case of a parotid oncocytoma.

Keywords: case report; diagnostic challenge; fine needle aspirate; metastatic squamous cell carcinoma; parotid oncocytoma; salivary gland.

Publication types

  • Case Reports