Benign Tumors of Minor Salivary Glands Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 14, 2021
  • Author: Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Salivary gland tumors are classified according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of head and neck tumors, most recently updated in 2017. [41]  They are categorized on the basis of their cytologic, architectural, and biologic characteristics. Tumors of the salivary glands include the following histotypes, organized by frequency (if available) below:

Benign tumors include the following:

  • Pleomorphic adenoma, 45.4% [42]
  • Basal cell adenoma
  • Canalicular adenoma
  • Cystadenoma
  • Ductal papilloma
  • Lymphadenoma
  • Myoepithelioma
  • Oncocytoma
  • Sebaceous adenoma
  • Sialadenoma papilliferum
  • Warthin tumor

Nonneoplastic epithelial lesions include the following:

  • Intercalated duct hyperplasia
  • Lymphoepithelial sialadenitis
  • Nodular oncocytic hyperplasia
  • Sclerosing polycystic adenosis

Soft-tissue tumors include the following:

  • Hemangioma
  • Lipoma
  • Nodular fasciitis

Hematolymphoid tumors include the following:

  • MALT (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue) lymphoma

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis, other disorders to be considered include the following:

  • Adenomatoid hyperplasia
  • Sialadenitis
  • Sialadenosis
  • Sialolithiasis

Differential Diagnoses