Open Access Commentary

Epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma of the parotid gland, unusual malignancy radiologically simulating a benign lesion: case report

Irene Piscioli1, Luca Morelli2, Andrea Falzone3, Franca Del Nonno4, Marinella Neri3, Zorika Christiana Di Rocco5, Alessia Catalucci6, Salvatore Donato7 and Stefano Licci4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, Civil Hospital of Budrio, Italy

2 Department of Pathology, "S. Maria del Carmine" Hospital, Rovereto, Italy

3 Department of Radiology, "S. Maria del Carmine" Hospital, Rovereto, Italy

4 Department of Pathology, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani" IRCCS, Rome, Italy

5 Department of Oncology, "Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata", Rome, Italy

6 Department of Radiology, "S. Salvatore" Hospital, L'aquila, Italy

7 Department of Radiology, Civil Hospital of Bentivoglio, Italy

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International Seminars in Surgical Oncology 2007, 4:25  doi:10.1186/1477-7800-4-25

Published: 16 October 2007

Abstract

Background

Ultrasound (US), Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are widely used in the clinical diagnosis of parotid gland tumors and their efficacy in identifying benign lesions is well documented. However, problems arise when facing some malignant lesions. Only few cases of salivary gland low grade malignant tumors have been previously reported in the literature complete with the radiological features.

Case presentation

We here describe a case of epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma (EMC) of the parotid gland, a low grade malignant tumor, with spread to an intraparotid lymph node and with CT and MRI findings mimicking a benign lesion.

Conclusion

All the images revealed sharply outlined profiles and a homogeneous enhancement of the nodule, suggesting a benign tumor and demonstrating that a radiological evaluation of the lesion alone may be unsatisfactory and misleading in the diagnosis of salivary gland tumours, especially in the case of low grade malignant tumors, such as EMC.