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Coll Antropol. 2010 Dec;34(4):1473-9.

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma misdiagnosed as palatal odontogenic infection: an overview on the differential diagnosis of palatal lesions.

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  • 1University of Zagreb, University Hospital Dubrava, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Zagreb, Croatia.


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) accounts for approximately 30% of malignant salivary gland tumors and approximately 30% occur in minor salivary glands. The palate is the most frequent localization for those arising in minor glands. A 33-year-old male patient with MEC of the hard palate was treated as an acute odontogenic infection, which was not cured after tooth endodontic treatments, repeated incisions and antibiotics. On the hard palate ovoid, a hard painless mass, which had not extended over the middle palatal line, was observed. Partial maxillectomy was performed. A review of the literature was performed in order to provide a coherent overview on the differential diagnosis of palatal lesions. To the best of authors' knowledge, this is the first report in English literature describing palatal MEC misdiagnosed and treated as odontogenic infection. Considering the extensive list of MEC's differential diagnoses on the hard palate, acute odontogenic infection can now be added to that list.

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