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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
June 2005

Radiology Quiz Case 2—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(6):537-538. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.6.537

Parapharyngeal space tumors represent 0.5% of all head and neck tumors.1 Eighty percent of parapharyngeal space tumors are benign and 20% are malignant.2 The most common primary lesions that arise in the parapharyngeal space are of salivary gland origin, and this type accounts for 50% of all primary parapharyngeal space tumors. Primary parapharyngeal space tumors of salivary gland origin include tumors of the parotid gland, salivary rest cells, and minor salivary gland within the submucosal pharynx. Eighty percent to 90% of these salivary gland tumors are pleomorphic adenomas (benign mixed tumors).3 These benign tumors are characterized by cellular pleomorphism and are composed of an epithelial and connective tissue component embedded in a stroma of mucoid, myxoid, chondroid, or osteoid origin.4

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