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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988 Mar;114(3):319-21.

Small-cell carcinoma of the parotid gland with neuroendocrine features.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908.


An 82-year-old woman had a small-cell carcinoma of the parotid gland with cells containing neuroendocrine secretory granules. To our knowledge, these dense-core granules have been identified in only three other major salivary gland small-cell carcinomas. The findings of histologic and ultrastructural evaluations of this neoplasm suggested a salivary duct cell origin. The tumor appears to arise from cells of the salivary duct system that differentiate into cells with either neuroendocrine or epithelial features. Electron microscopy to determine the type of small-cell carcinoma should be performed, as this may have prognostic significance. Aggressive therapy should be undertaken, since small-cell carcinomas of the major salivary glands appear to have a better prognosis than bronchogenic or laryngeal small-cell carcinomas have.

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