Low-grade adenocarcinoma of the oral cavity: polymorphous or papillary?

J Oral Pathol Med. 1993 Aug;22(7):327-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.1993.tb01083.x.


Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas are low-grade malignant salivary-gland neoplasms with a broad variety of architectural patterns. Whether papillary structures fall within this spectrum or whether they should lead to a diagnosis of papillary low-grade adenocarcinoma is a subject of debate. This problem was investigated by analyzing a series of 22 salivary gland neoplasms. It was concluded that papillary structures form part of the histologic spectrum of polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma but that there are also tumors with papillary structures as a single component. In most instances these are more properly classified as papillary cystadenocarcinomas. As the designation papillary low-grade adenocarcinoma has been used for polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas with papillary structures as well as for papillary cystadenocarcinoma, it is advocated that the diagnosis of papillary low-grade adenocarcinoma should be discontinued.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucins
  • Prognosis
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Mucins