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Top 10 Nested Pattern Head and Neck Lesions to Notice.

BACKGROUND: Nested is defined as "cellular clusters arranged in small groupings with intervening vascular or stromal networks, lacking lumens or glandular formation." Using this definition, multiple neoplastic and non-neoplastic lesions of the head and neck come into the differential. We have broadly organized the differential diagnosis of "nested" tumors into entities with neuroendocrine differentiation, squamous differentiation, thyroid follicular cell differentiation, and other lesions.

METHODS: Review.

RESULTS: Many different entities have a nested appearance and the morphologic, immunohistochemical, clinical, and radiographic features contribute to the differential diagnosis. The different tumors covered in this review include neuroendocrine neoplasms, paraganglioma, middle ear neuroendocrine tumor (formerly known as middle ear adenoma), medullary thyroid carcinoma, poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma, olfactory neuroblastoma, ectopic pituitary neuroendocrine tumor, hyalinizing trabecular tumor, solid subtype of papillary thyroid carcinoma, solid cell nests/C-cell hyperplasia, necrotizing sialometaplasia, and meningioma.

CONCLUSION: In this review, we discuss the morphologic and immunohistochemical features of the covered entities as a guide to differential diagnosis when nested-patterned head and neck lesions are encountered.

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