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Poorly differentiated carcinoma arising from adenolymphoma of the parotid gland

Stefano Ferrero1, Laura Cattaneo1, Andrea Peri2, Paola Braidotti1, Ugo Cioffi3, Gabriele Scaramellini2, Michele M Ciulla4, Matilde De Simone3, Carmelo Arizzi1 and Lorenzo Pignataro2*

Author affiliations

1 Pathology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Paolo and Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, I.R.C.C.S., Milan, Italy

3 Department of Surgery, Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, I.R.C.C.S, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

4 Institute of General Clinical Medicine and Medical Therapy, Centre of Clinical Physiology and Hypertension, Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, I.R.C.C.S, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

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Citation and License

BMC Surgery 2003, 3:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-3-1

Published: 17 January 2003



There is only one previous case report of a poorly differentiated carcinoma arising from an adenolymphoma of the parotid gland (Warthin's tumour). The absence of clinical symptoms, and the aspecificity of the radiological pattern make the diagnosis very difficult.

Case presentation

We here report the case of a 73-year-old man with Warthin's tumour who was brought to our attention because of a swelling in the parotid region.


In this case with an atypical clinical presentation, the intra-operative examination of a frozen section of the parotid mass allowed us to diagnose the malignant tumour correctly and consequently undertake its radical excision.

Warthin's tumour; malignant adenolymphoma; parotid gland; salivary gland carcinoma