recklinghausen's tumor

Warthin's tumor

Not to be confused with Wharton's duct (submandibular duct)
Warthin's tumor or Warthin tumour, also known as Papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum, is a type of benign tumor of the salivary glands.


Its etiology is unknown, but there is a strong association with cigarette smoking. Smokers are at 8 times greater risk of developing Warthin's tumor than the general population.


The gland most likely affected is the parotid gland. Though much less likely to occur than pleomorphic adenoma, Warthin's tumor is the second most common benign parotid tumor.


Warthin's tumor primarily affects older individuals (age 60-70 years). There is a slight female predilection according to recent studies, but historically it has been associated with a strong male predilection. This change is possibly due to the tumor's association with cigarette smoking and the growing use of cigarettes by women. The tumor is slow growing, painless, and usually appears in the tail of the parotid gland near the angle of the mandible. In 5—14% of cases, Warthin's tumor is bilateral, but the two masses usually are at different times. Warthin's tumor is highly unlikely to become malignant.


The appearance of this tumor under the microscope is unique. There are cystic spaces surrounded by two uniform rows of cells with centrally placed pyknotic nuclei. The cystic spaces have epithelium referred to as papillary infoldings that protrude into them. Additionally, the epithelium has lymphoid stroma with germinal center formation.


Most of these tumors are treated with surgical removal. Recurrence is rare, occurring in 6—12% of cases.

Additional images


Additional sources

  • Kahn, Michael A. Basic Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Volume 1. 2001.

See also

External links

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