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[Diagnosis management of Warthin tumour: clinical presentation, fine needle cytology and MRI].

[Article in French]

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  • 1CHU La Timone, Fédération d'Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie et Chirurgie Cervico-Faciale, 264 rue Saint-Pierre, F-13385 Marseille Cedex 05, France.



Warthin tumour is the second most frequent benign tumour of the parotid gland after pleomorphic adenoma. The aim of this retrospective study was to define clinical, cytological and MRI characteristics in order to work out a therapeutic strategy.


During the period May 1991-January 2003, 53 patients with Warthin tumors were treated in our institution. Clinical data were reported from medical records reviewing. Histological diagnoses were compared with FNAB and MRI results.


Warthin tumours represented 13% of all parotid lesions of our series. Mean age of patients was 58 year-old. Sex ratio was 3.8 men and 1 woman. Sensitivity of FNAB for Warthin tumour diagnosis was 75% while positive predictive value was 71%. Six cases of false positive patients were reported: 2 acinic cells carcinomas, 2 pleomorphic adenomas, 1 dermoid cyst, 1 branchial cyst.


Surgical management is based on partial parotidectomy that may be adapted to the tumour location. Because of elderly patients, benign nature and low risk of malignant transformation of Warthin tumours, one might prompt to adopt a conservative strategy, avoiding surgery in some cases. Despite diagnosis of Whartin tumour on FNAB and MRI, one must be cautious in recommending conservative treatment in order to avoid ignoring a surgical tumour.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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