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Pathology of Pleomorphic Adenoma of the Ear

Dr Sampurna Roy MD




Pleomorphic adenoma is a benign tumour that usually originates in a major salivary gland, sometimes from minor salivary glands and other structures in the head and neck region such as the lip and cheek.

Pleomorphic adenoma of the external auditory canal is an extremely rare disease. This tumour arising in the ear canal was first described in 1951 by Mark and Rothberg.

It is considered to derive from the ceruminous glands of the external auditory canal.     

Welti classified these tumors into four groups: Ceruminous Adenoma, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Ceruminous Adenocarcinoma, and the most rare, pleomorphic adenoma. Based on his classification, Syringocystadenoma Papilliferum has been added as a benign neoplasm arising from the ceruminous gland.

The slow growing lesion usually presents as a soft mass covered with epithelium, filling the external auditory canal.

The microscopic examination of pleomorphic adenoma of the ear canal  reveals tubuloalveolar and glandular type structures within a fibroadipose, chondroid, myxoid or hyaline stroma.

There is subepithelial proliferation of glandular structures with nests of myoepithelial components in a chondromyxoid stroma, similar to the histology of pleomorphic adenoma of salivary gland origin. Myoepithelial cells of the ceruminous glands are thought to be the origin of primary pleomorphic adenoma of the ear canal. These cells differentiate and can form a component of the tumour.

Malignant transformation of a pleomorphic adenoma of the ear canal has been reported as aggressive 'chondroid syringoma'. In that case, the tumour recurred with cellular atypia and mitotic activity together with many satellite nodules three years after the first resection.

In treating pleomorphic adenoma of the external auditory canal,complete surgical excision is essential for the prevention of recurrence.

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Visit: Chondroid syringoma of the Skin

Further reading: 

Mixed tumor of skin of external auditory canal.

Aggressive chondroid syringoma. Report of a case in an unusual location and with local recurrence.

Pleomorphic adenoma presenting with conductive hearing loss in the ear canal: a case report and review of the literature.

Pleomorphic Adenoma of the External Auditory Canal: A Rare Presentation.

Primary pleomorphic adenoma of the external ear canal. Report of a case and literature review.

Chondroid syringoma of the external ear canal presenting as a cyst.

Lipomatous pleomorphic adenoma of the ceruminous gland.

Pleomorphic adenoma of external auditory canal.

Pleomorphic adenoma of the external auditory canal: recurrence of a parotid gland primary.

Pleomorphic adenoma of the external auditory canal: a case report and review of the literature.

Pleomorphic adenoma of the external auditory canal.

The chondroid syringoma: report of a case arising from the external auditory canal.


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Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)







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