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Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the palate in a 5-year-old girl: case report and literature review



Minor salivary gland tumors in children are uncommon. However, despite the low overall incidence, there is a high incidence of malignancy in these young patients which is reported to be above 50 %, with mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) predominating. We hope that this case report will contribute to the enlightenment of the behavior and prognosis of pediatric MEC of palatal minor salivary gland tumors.

Case report

A 5-year-old girl was admitted to our center with a histologically confirmed MEC of the left hard palate. Primary incision for drainage of a supposed abscess and secondary biopsy had been performed elsewhere 14 days before. After further workup, we excised the tumor and the adjacent bone; clear margins of 10 mm were revealed. Adjuvant therapy was not necessary. The defect was allowed to undergo secondary wound healing. As of the 1-year follow-up, there had been no recurrences.


For differential diagnosis, MEC should be considered in cases of soft, slow-growing, painless, pale bluish-purple lumps of the palate even in young patients. Especially for nonresponders to initial treatment, early biopsy is recommended for histological confirmation or exclusion of a minor salivary gland tumor.

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The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Jan Rustemeyer.

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Baumgardt, C., Günther, L., Sari-Rieger, A. et al. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the palate in a 5-year-old girl: case report and literature review. Oral Maxillofac Surg 18, 465–469 (2014).

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  • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
  • Minor salivary gland tumors
  • Children