This retrospective study was carried out to review aspirates from minor salivary gland tumours of the palate and to assess the problems encountered in their diagnosis, especially the cytological diagnosis of newer entities such as polymorphous low grade adenocarcinoma (PLGA). Fifty-five cases of palatal salivary gland tumours aspirated over a period of 16 years were reviewed. Histology was available in 26 cases. Pleomorphic adenoma (27 cases) was the most common benign cytodiagnosis. Eleven aspirates were malignant tumours of which eight cases were adenoid cystic carcinoma and three cases were mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Seven cases were diagnosed on fine needle aspiration as suggestive of PLGA. However histological confirmation was available in only one of these cases. Concordance between the initial and revised typings of the tumours was seen in only 28 cases (54%) in the present study. Initially 18 of the 51 tumours (35.3%) could not be typed; and after review, only three could not be typed. Three cases of oncocytoma could be diagnosed on review only. Palatal salivary gland tumours, although relatively uncommon, are difficult to diagnose cytologically. This is more so in cases of newer entities such as PLGA, as their cytological diagnosis is still not well characterized.
- Minor salivary glands