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Metastatic malignant melanoma in the parotid gland.


3 cases of metastatic malignant melanoma to the parotid gland are reported. Diagnosis before surgery was not possible because of the particular characteristics of the primary lesions. Neither physical examination nor sialography or ultrasonography provided any differential diagnostic assistance. A thorough case history allowed us to trace a pigmented lesion in 2 cases: in the first case it had been removed about 1 year prior to our examination, whereas in the second case it had regressed spontaneously leaving no trace. In the 3rd case the presence of multiple surgical scars, due to reconstructive plastic surgery for multiple burns of the scalp contracted 30 years earlier, might have concealed a primary malignant melanoma. The path of diffusion (either direct or retrograde) towards the parotid gland as well as treatment procedures are discussed on the basis of recently published data. Moreover, the authors underline the value of thorough case histories aimed at identifying suspect cutaneous lesions of the head and neck, in all cases of parotid swellings, where the possibility of metastases is considered.

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