Malignant salivary gland neoplasms

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[edit] Discussion of Malignant salivary gland neoplasms

  • The most common malignant neoplasms occurring in salivary glands are:
    • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
    • Adenoid cystic carcinoma.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, acinic cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma are less common.
  • Less than 30% of focal lesions in the parotid gland are malignant, whereas almost 50% of focal lesions in the submandibular gland are malignant.
  • Malignant tumors may grow rapidly, may be tender or painful at palpation, may be fixed to the background, and may cause facial nerve paresis or paralysis.


  • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma occurs mostly between 30 and 50 years of age.
  • Mucoepidermoid carcinoma may show several levels of differentiation and thus different tendencies to infiltration, metastases, and progress
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma, which is a slowly growing tumor, shows a particular tendency to nerve infiltration and late metastases are frequent.

[edit] Imaging Findings for Malignant salivary gland neoplasms

  • US features of malignant salivary neoplasms include the following: an irregular shape, irregular borders, blurred margins, and a hypoechoic inhomogeneous structure.
  • The internal structure of a malignant tumor at US may be not only solid but also cystic or cystic with a mural solid nodule.
  • Malignant tumors may have a lobulated shape, similar to that of pleomorphic adenomas.


  • MRI: as result of increased cellularity and decreased mucous production, high-grade malignancies tend to have low signal intensity with both T1- and T2-weighted sequences (benign and low-grade malignancies are bright on T2-weighted images}.

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References for Malignant salivary gland neoplasms