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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2007 Sep;104(3):385-90. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Subacute necrotizing sialadenitis: a clinicopathological study.

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Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Program, School of Dental Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.



To report cases of extra-palatal subacute necrotizing sialadenitis (SANS), an uncommon condition that usually affects palatal minor salivary glands, and to characterize the etiopathogenesis, clinical features, and histology of this lesion.


Retrospective reviews of records for patients with SANS diagnosed between 1999 and 2005; only cases with complete clinical history and histology were included in the study.


Five cases (3 women, 2 men) were identified. The majority of patients presented with painful 1.0 to 1.5 cm swellings, with sudden and rapid increase in size. Two cases occurred in the buccal mucosa, 2 on the ventral surface of tongue, and 1 on the upper lip. Histology showed acinar necrosis surrounded by a dense polymorphous inflammatory infiltrate with focal exuberant tissue eosinophilia. Ductal atrophy was seen with minimal squamous metaplasia. In all the cases, healing occurred without any further treatment in 3 weeks. No recurrence was observed.


SANS is an uncommon, inflammatory condition of unknown etiology affecting minor salivary glands. SANS appears to be a self-limiting process that has distinct characteristic clinical and histologic features. Nevertheless, SANS shares some of the histologic features of early necrotizing sialometaplasia (NS), suggesting a possible relationship between the 2 conditions. Additional reporting of SANS would be helpful in better defining the condition and its delineation from NS.

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