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Head Face Med. 2012 Apr 3;8:11. doi: 10.1186/1746-160X-8-11.

Bilateral multifocal Warthin's tumors in upper neck lymph nodes. Report of a case and brief review of the literature.

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  • 1Department for Cranio- and Maxillofacial Surgery, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Moorenstr, 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Cystadenolymphomas (Warthin's tumors) are the second most frequent lesions of the parotid gland. Due to their benign clinical behavior, the low rates of recurrence and malignant transformation they were classified as tumor-like lesions. In addition, a polyclonal growth of the epithelial components of the tumor could be detected. Warthin's tumors occur bilateral in 7-10%, whereas a multifocal appearance is extremely rare. Even if the pathogenesis is still unclear a heterotopia of salivary tissue during embryogenesis is the most likely explanation for the origin of these tumors in the upper neck and periparotideal region. Here we present a rare case of bilateral, multifocal, extraglandular Warthin's tumors in lymph nodes of the upper neck and give a brief review of the literature. If a primary malignancy can be excluded by a careful staging procedure prior to the operation an isolated excision of the lesions of the neck is the adequate treatment.

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