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Bronchial mucous gland tumours


Tumours arising in the bronchial mucous glands closely resemble tumours arising in the mixed salivary glands. Bronchial mucous gland tumours account for less than 0.5 per cent of all lung tumours. Twenty six tumours are reviewed and they have been divided into five types, (a) adenoidcystic carcinomas, (b) muco-epidermoid tumours, (c) mixed (pleomorphic) tumours, (d) cystadenomas and (f) oxyphilic adenoma. The clinical features, and postoperative course of the patients are reviewed. Adenocystic carcinomas arising in the bronchus frequently involve the neighbouring trachea and spread mainly by direct infiltration. Most muco-epidermoid bronchial tumours were confined to young persons, and the only malignant mucoepidermoid tumour occurred in an elderly person. The prognosis in young persons is good provided the tumours are completely excised. The two mixed bronchial tumours resembled their salivary counterparts and one subsequently behaved as a carcinoma and metastasised. Bronchial cystadenomas all proved to be benign tumours but in two cases were associated with surface papillary proliferation. The only example of an oxyphil cell adenoma was discovered at post mortem examination. The histogenesis of the tumours is considered.

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Dedicated to Professor E. Uehlinger on the occasion of his 80th birthday

The author wishes to thank all those pathologists who referred many of these cases over a period of years and without whose help the survey of these rare tumours would not have been possible.

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Spencer, H. Bronchial mucous gland tumours. Virchows Arch. A Path. Anat. and Histol. 383, 101–115 (1979).

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Key words

  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • Muco-epidermoid tumours
  • Pleomorphic adenomas
  • Cystadenomas
  • Oxyphilic adenoma