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Head and Neck Pathology

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DOI: 10.1007/s12105-017-0817-y


The schwannoma-like pleomorphic adenoma is a rare histopathological variant of the pleomorphic adenoma. Five previous reports with seven cases exist in English language literature. These tumors present in the parotid gland most commonly. Intraparotid schwannomas of the facial nerve and schwannomas with glandular differentiation have also been reported. A 60-year-old male presented with an asymptomatic swelling over the left angle of the mandible. The swelling had been present for about 12 years with a recent increase in size. CT imaging showed a hyperdense circumscribed mass of the superficial lobe of the parotid. The working diagnosis was that of a benign tumor of salivary gland or soft tissue origin. The mass was excised with careful preservation of the facial nerve. The 3.5 cm mass was submitted for histopathological examination. The well-circumscribed, encapsulated mass showed a predominant sheet-like proliferation of Antoni type A-like tissue, Foci of glandular differentiation with duct-like structures were also seen. Cytological atypia or mitotic activity were not seen. Nuclei of lesional cells diffusely and strongly expressed reactivity to p63. The final diagnosis was a schwannoma-like pleomorphic adenoma. No recurrence has been reported in the 15 months since the removal. Facial nerve function is unimpaired with a House Brackmann facial nerve function score of one. The potential for misdiagnosis in fine needle aspirate and incisional biopsies is real in cases of schwannoma-like pleomorphic adenoma. The diagnostic pitfalls include the schwannoma and leiomyoma. Schwannomas with glandular differentiation have also been reported and therefore a misdiagnosis may potentially occur in excised specimens. Careful application of immunohistochemistry may help in the differentiation of these lesions.


Accepted version. Head and Neck Pathology, Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 2017): 567-574. DOI. © 2017 Springer. Used with permission.

Yeshwant B. Rawal was affiliated with University of Washington at the time of publication.

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