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Mod Pathol. 2002 Sep;15(9):1005-10.

Keratocystoma of the parotid gland: a report of two cases of an unusual pathologic entity.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Pathology, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Benign salivary gland tumors composed of purely squamous cells are quite unusual and are not included in the World Health Organization classification. We have seen two benign parotid gland tumors characterized by multicystic spaces with stratified squamous linings and focal solid epithelial nests. Seifert et al. recently described such a case as a choristoma; we, however, herein propose a new designation, keratocystoma, for this unique tumor group, because of its distinctive histological features. These tumors occurred in men aged 18 and 38 years with enlarging parotid gland tumors. Both had largely similar gross and histological features, with some variations. The epithelium lining of the cysts showed apparent keratinization through a parakeratotic or orthokeratotic pathway without forming a granular cell layer. Stratification of the epithelium was always regularly oriented from the outer basal to the inner keratotic cell layer. Focally, the outer layer had bud-like protrusions. In some areas, solid squamous cell islands surrounded by basement membrane were enclosed within the collagenous stroma. These cystic and solid structures were randomly distributed, showing no definite lobular architecture. All of the tumor cells had uniform, bland nuclei and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm. Scattered mitotic figures were observed, limited to the outer epithelial layer, and showed no abnormal patterns. Transformation from the parotid ductal epithelium to the tumor cells is evident. Foci of foreign-body reactions against keratin materials were present. Immunoreactivities for cytokeratins reconfirmed the nature of squamous differentiation of the tumor cells. Ki-67-positive cells were confined along the outer basal layer of the tumor epithelium. Tests for alpha-smooth muscle actin and S-100 protein were completely negative. Both patients had no evidence of recurrence 3 and 2 years after subtotal parotidectomy, respectively, without any additional therapy. We believe that this lesion represents a benign cystic neoplasm rather than a malignant tumor or pseudoneoplastic metaplastic condition. It is important to recognize that this peculiar benign tumor does originate from the salivary gland.

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