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J Cytol. 2012 Jan;29(1):80-2. doi: 10.4103/0970-9371.93236.

Oncocytic lesion of parotid gland: A dilemma for cytopathologists.

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Department of Pathology, North Bengal Medical College, Darjeeling, India.


Oncocytes are epithelial cells with abundant, granular, eosinophilic cytoplasm due to presence of numerous large mitochondria of varied sizes. The presence of oncocytes in salivary glands can occur in a variety of conditions. Here, we present a rare case of a 68 year old male patient who presented with a 6 cm diameter swelling in the right parotid region. A fine needle aspiration cytology done from the lesion showed a cellular oncocytic lesion. A possibility of oncocytoma was entertained. Histopathology of the mass showed a rare entity called diffuse hyperplastic oncocytosis. Originally believed to be a metaplastic process, oncocytes can occur in various lesions ranging from hyperplastic conditions to malignant neoplasms. However, diagnosis on cytological smears can be very challenging for the cytopathologist.


Fine needle aspiration cytology; oncocytes; parotid gland

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