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labial papillary cystadenoma

Friday 10 June 2016

Papillary cystadenoma of the lower lip

Definition: Papillary cystadenoma of salivary glands is a rare benign epithelial neoplasm characterized by multicystic growth in which the epithelium exhibits adenomatous proliferation.

Papillary cystadenoma of minor salivary glands most frequently involves the lip, buccal mucosa, and palate.

This tumor typically presents as a slow-growing, painless mass, usually with diameter of less than 1 cm and clinical resemblance to a mucocele.

Although most papillary cystadenomas are predominantly of one cell type, a regional variability may be present.

This type of minor salivary gland tumor epithelium in the lower lip may be the result of a metaplastic process or simply another neoplastic manifestation of papillary cystadenoma.

Differential diagnosis

As far as the differential diagnosis of this entity is concerned, it is important to distinguish it from :
- papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum (Warthin tumor ),
- low-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma,
- papillary-cystic variant of acinic cell carcinoma,
- cystadenocarcinoma

Recognition of this lesion is important for the clinician since the differential diagnosis includes lesions with similar clinical appearance and infiltrative behavior.

Nota bene: Salivary gland tumors are uncommon and constitute 2-6.5 % of all head and neck neoplasms. Tumors of minor salivary gland origin account for less than 25 % of all salivary gland neoplasms.


- Papillary cystadenoma of the lower lip exhibiting ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium: report of a bizarre case and review of the literature. Stathopoulos P, Gagari E. Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Sep;17(3):161-4. doi : 10.1007/s10006-012-0357-2 PMID: 22933035