Oncocytic features in salivary duct carcinoma, a potential pitfall for misdiagnosis as Warthin tumor in fine needle aspiration specimens: A cytomorphologic analysis of 14 cases

Aarti Goswami, Amy J. Zhang, Shifteh Vahidi, Tetyana Mettler, Jimmie Stewart, Khalid Amin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is an uncommon and highly aggressive primary salivary gland neoplasm. Cytomorphologic features of SDC include cellular smears, nuclear atypia, prominent nucleoli, cribriform and papillary architecture, and background necrosis. The presence of oncocytic features has been described but not adequately characterized in the current literature. Method: This study cohort consisted of 14 cases of histologically proven SDC with previous salivary gland fine needle aspiration (FNA). The cytologic material of each case was semi-quantitatively analyzed and evaluated for various cytomorphologic, architectural, and background features. Results: Twelve SDCs were located in the parotid gland and two in the submandibular gland. In two cases the initial cytologic diagnoses was Warthin tumor or favor Warthin tumor. Moderate to marked degree of oncocytic changes were noted in all cases except one case. Nuclear atypia was variable with most cases exhibiting moderate to high-grade nuclear features, while four cases demonstrated low-grade nuclear cytomorphology. Cytoplasmic vacuolation was seen in nine cases and variable amount of background necrosis was observed in eight cases. Cribriform and papillary architecture was recognized in only six cases. Background lymphocytes were absent in all but one case. Conclusions: Precise diagnosis of SDC based on cytomorphologic features alone can be challenging. Oncocytic change is one of the most consistent features observed in this case series and when associated with less pronounced cytologic atypia, can potentially lead to misdiagnosis as Warthin tumor. SDC should be considered in the differential diagnosis of oncocytic salivary gland neoplasms where precise diagnosis is not possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-609
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • carcinoma
  • oncocytic
  • salivary gland

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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