Benign lymphoepithelial cysts of the parotid gland. A histologic, cytologic, and ultrastructural study

Am J Clin Pathol. 1986 Apr;85(4):395-401. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/85.4.395.


Five cases of benign lymphoepithelial cysts (BLCs) of the parotid gland are reported, and the histologic, aspiration cytologic, and ultrastructural findings are described in detail. These uncommon parotid lesions contain epithelium-lined cystic spaces encased by abundant lymphoid tissue with germinal centers. The epithelium was "mucoepidermoid" in three of our cases and squamous in two. Familiarity with the morphologic features of BLCs should make it possible to distinguish them from similar-appearing cystic lesions, especially low-grade cystic mucoepidermoid carcinoma and cystic types of benign lymphoepithelial lesion (so-called Mikulicz's disease). These distinctions, however, are difficult on aspiration cytology specimens.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cysts / pathology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucins / analysis
  • Parotid Diseases / pathology*


  • Mucins