Head and Neck Pathology

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 55–60 | Cite as

Update on Diagnostic Difficulties in Lesions of the Minor Salivary Glands

  • Paul M. Speight


The histopathology of the salivary glands and particularly of salivary gland tumours is complex and may be problematic for even the most experienced diagnostic pathologist [1]. The latest WHO classification [2] contains over 40 named neoplasms, many of which show significant morphological diversity resulting in overlapping features which make differentiation between tumour types difficult. Added to this, there is also a range of non-neoplastic lesions that may resemble tumours both clinically and histologically [3]. The purpose of this paper is to review some of these lesions and to highlight areas of diagnostic difficulty or controversy.

Pleomorphic Adenoma

This is the most common of the salivary gland tumours, comprising about 70% of parotid and 50% of minor gland tumours. Intra-orally, the most common site is the junction of the hard and soft palate. Because this is the most frequently encountered tumour, the features are well described and diagnosis should be...


Salivary Gland Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Pleomorphic Adenoma Salivary Gland Tumour Minor Salivary Gland 
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Copyright information

© Humana 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Clinical DentistryUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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