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Dendritic cell tumor in a salivary gland lymph node: a rare differential diagnosis of salivary gland neoplasms

Sebastian P Schraven15*, Stefan K Plontke2, Roland Syha3, Falko Fend4, Hartwig Wolburg4 and Patrick Adam4

Author affiliations

1 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tübingen, Elfriede-Aulhorn-Straße 5, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany

2 Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Magdeburger Straße 12, D-06112 Halle (Saale), Germany

3 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Straße 3, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany

4 Institute of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), University of Tübingen, Liebermeisterstraße 8, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany

5 University of Würzburg, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Josef-Schneider-Strasse 11, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2011, 6:94  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-94

Published: 30 September 2011


Dendritic cell tumors are extremely rare neoplasms arising from antigen-presenting cells of the immune system. We report a case of a 69-year-old man with an unremarkable medical history who presented with a 2-months history of a gradually enlarging painless, firm, mobile, 2 × 2-cm swelling at the caudal pole of the left parotid gland without systemic symptoms. Histologically, the tumor consisted of a spindle cell proliferation in an intraparotideal lymph node. Based on the histopathologic, immunohistochemical and electron microscopic findings, a dendritic cell tumor, not otherwise specified (NOS) in an intraparotideal lymph node was diagnosed.

The patient underwent complete tumor resection, and is currently free of disease, 2 years after surgery. These extremely rare tumors must be distinguished from other more common tumors in the salivary glands. Awareness that dendritic cell tumors may occur in this localization, careful histologic evaluation and ancillary immunohistochemical and electron microscopical analyses should allow for recognition of this entity.

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Dendritic cell tumor; salivary gland lymph node