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Il Giornale Italiano di Radiologia Medica 2019 Novembre-Dicembre;6(6):601-5

DOI: 10.23736/S2283-8376.19.00229-8


language: English, Italian

Basal cell adenoma of the salivary glands: MRI features and differential diagnosis

Eleonora BICCI 1, Michele PIETRAGALLA 1, Giovanni B. VERRONE 1, Cosimo NARDI 1, Antonio L. ANNESE 1, Francesco MUNGAI 2, Luigi BONASERA 2 , Vittorio MIELE 2

1 Mario Serio Department of Biomedical, Experimental and Clinical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy


Basal cell adenoma (BCA) is a rare benign neoplasm of the salivary glands (1-2%), and ranks third in terms of incidence, after pleomorphic adenoma and Warthin tumor. BCA generally arises from the parotid gland (especially in the superficial lobe) and from the other major salivary glands (80%), rarely from minor salivary glands. Basal cell adenoma was first described as a distinct clinical and pathologic entity by Kleinsasser and Klein in 1967. The World Health Organization defined basal cell adenoma as a benign neoplasm composed chiefly of basaloid cells with high nucleus/cytoplasmatic ratio with no myxochondroid stromal component. The tumor generally affects middle-aged adults (V-VII decades) without sexual predilection. Classic clinical presentation is a slow growing, asymptomatic, freely mobile parotid swelling. The first-choice exam is ultrasonography. Magnetic resonance imaging represents a second step exam, useful for a pre-surgical evaluation and, eventually, for the characterization of the lesion. Surgical resection (i.e. superficial or total parotidectomy) is the treatment of choice because of the high risk of recurrence or malignant transformation of the membranous subtype (25%). We describe a case of basal cell adenoma of the parotid gland in a 77-year-old male with an asymptomatic and growing swelling of the superior part of left latero-cervical region.

KEY WORDS: Head and neck neoplasms; Adenoma; Basal cell carcinoma; Parotid gland; Magnetic resonance imaging; Differential diagnosis

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