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Otorhinolaryngology 2021 March;71(1):18-27

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6302.20.02276-6

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Minor salivary glands: anatomy, embryology and pathology

Alberto CARANTI 1 , Ilaria VISENTINI 2, Michele MANGANO 3, Mauro BUDINI 4

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Lugano Civic Hospital, Lugano, Switzerland; 2 Lugano Civic Hospital, Lugano, Switzerland; 3 Department of Visceral Surgery, Lugano Civic Hospital, Lugano, Switzerland; 4 Medical Doctor, Argenta, Ferrara, Italy



The main aim of this work was to provide an exhaustive and clear description about minor salivary glands. Starting from a short description of anatomy, embryology and physiology, we focus then on their pathologies, especially the benign and malignant tumors, trying to provide the reader a clear information about the actual knowledge state. Most of ORL’s texts does not focus on minor salivary glands; indeed, they are described in the same chapter of major glands by analyzing their differences. Minor salivary glands’ pathologies are not so rare. Moreover, their tumors could represent an important aspect of head and neck surgeons’ work. Hence, we believe that a proper knowledge of these glands and their pathologies, along with an updated review about their tumors’ incidence and distribution, could be very useful for ORL specialists.


KEY WORDS: Salivary glands, minor; Head and neck neoplasms; Pathology

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