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Pulmonary Pathology Online

Pathology of Salivary Gland-Type Tumours of the Lung

 Dr Sampurna Roy MD   


Mucous and serous glands in the respiratory tract rarely produce tumours  that are histologically identical to tumours derived from the salivary glands of the head and neck. 

Electron microscopic and immunohistochemical studies confirm the similarity between tumours in these two locations.

Primary lung cancers, histologically resembling salivary gland carcinoma, usually arise from submucosal glands of the bronchi and most of these tumours are mucoepidermoid carcinomas, adenoid cystic carcinomas, and mixed tumours.

They may arise within pulmonary parenchyma in the periphery of the lung without direct connection to the bronchial structure.

These tumours can occur at any age without sex predilection, and at any lung or lung segment.

Their clinical manifestations are similar to the lung cancers.

They behave as low-grade cancer with good prognosis when completely excised.But poorly differentiated tumors are highly aggressive leading to death due to widespread metastases.

Different histologic patterns observed in lungs are as follows:

- Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

- Acinic Cell Carcinoma (Fechner tumour)

- Salivary Gland-Type Mixed Tumours

- Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma

- Epithelial-Myoepithelial Carcinoma

- Pulmonary Oncocytoma


Further reading:

Benign salivary gland-type tumors of the bronchus: expression of high molecular weight cytokeratins

Salivary gland-type tumors with myoepithelial differentiation arising in pulmonary hamartoma: report of 2 cases of a hitherto unrecognized association.

Salivary-type neoplasms of the breast and lung.

Primary salivary gland-type tumors of the lung.




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)







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