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Diagn Cytopathol. 2005 Sep;33(3):191-4.

Nodular fasciitis of parotid region: a pitfall in the diagnosis of pleomorphic adenomas on fine-needle aspiration cytology.

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Louisiana State University Health Science Center, School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is routinely employed for the preoperative diagnosis of salivary gland lesions. Although most cases show morphologic features characteristic of specific entities, some lesions can be diagnostically challenging. We report two parotid aspirates, initially diagnosed as pleomorphic adenoma on FNA. The patients, a 33-yr-old white man, and a 24-yr-old white woman, presented with indurated lesions arising in the parotid gland region. The aspirates from both patients were markedly hypercellular. Smears showed a mixture of spindle cells with a well-demarcated cytoplasm showing occasional long cytoplasmic process; and cells with abundant cytoplasm with round to oval eccentric nuclei, giving the impression of plasmacytoid cells of pleomorphic adenoma. The nuclear chromatin was evenly distributed and finely granular with one or two occasional small nucleoli. Intermingled with the tumor cells were scattered neutrophils, eosinophils, and macrophages. Aggregates of spindle cells were also seen embedded in a mucoid background with occasional small tufts of a fibrillar mucoid stroma. These fibrillar tufts were magenta red in the Diff-Quik stain, giving the impression of matrix of pleomorphic adenoma. Both cases were later diagnosed on histologic examination as nodular fasciitis. Nodular fasciitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a mass arising in association with the parotid gland.

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