[Differential diagnosis of lymphoepithelial lesions of salivary glands. With particular reference to characteristic duct lesions]

S Ihrler, C Zietz, A Sendelhofert, F Menauer, S Blasenbreu-Vogt, U Löhrs
Der Pathologe 2000, 21 (6): 424-32
Several salivary gland diseases present with the histomorphological features of a lymphoepithelial lesion with or without cyst formation. Some of the most important differential diagnoses (Sjögren's syndrome, marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, HIV-associated cystic lymphoepithelial lesion) are systemic diseases and require further investigation and therapy. However, in small biopsy specimens and in cases without relevant clinical information an exact diagnosis may be difficult to obtain. We have recently determined that the characteristic lymphoepithelial duct lesions develop by proliferation of basal cells of striated ducts, while we could not confirm the previously postulated participation of myoepithelial cells ("epimyoepithelial lesion/sialadenitis"). Although these duct lesions are typical of Sjögren's syndrome, they manifest in several diseases of salivary glands, exhibiting characteristic patterns concerning frequency and localization. This review discusses the most important lymphoepithelial diseases of salivary glands with respect to clinical presentation and histomorphology. Particular emphasis is placed on the lymphoepithelial duct lesions.

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