Author(s): Layfield LJ, Gopez EV
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Abstract A variety of neoplastic and nonneoplastic lesions of the salivary glands have a predominantly cystic architecture. Fine-needle aspirates of these lesions yield watery or mucoid material, frequently of low cellularity. Such aspirates may be obtained from mucus retention cysts, lymphoepithelial cysts, cystadenomas, Warthin's tumors, cystic pleomorphic adenomas, low-grade mucoepidermoid carcinomas, cystadenocarcinomas, and examples of polycystic disease of the parotid gland. The cellular component within the fluid obtained from these lesions may be exceedingly scant or absent, making cytologic diagnosis difficult and, at times, impossible. We studied a series of 56 cystic lesions of the salivary glands, including 38 Warthin's tumors, 6 benign cysts, 2 lymphoepithelial cysts, 5 low-grade mucoepidermoid carcinomas, 1 cystic pleomorphic adenoma, 2 cystadenomas, and 2 cystadenocarcinomas. Careful attention to the cellular elements present often allowed definitive cytologic diagnosis, with an overall accuracy rate of 84\%. The presence of atypical squamous metaplasia in oncocytic lesions was a significant cause of false-positive diagnoses of carcinoma (4 cases, 7\%). Aspirates of low-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma may contain no epithelial cells and result in false-negative diagnoses (1 case, 2\%). Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Diagn Cytopathol
and referenced in Dentistry