Carcinoma ex Pleomorphic Adenoma of the Nasal Cavity

Ashley Cimino-Mathews, Brian M. Lin, Steven S. Chang, Kofi D. Boahene, Justin A. Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CXPA) is a malignant epithelial neoplasm arising in a benign mixed tumor (i. e., pleomorphic adenoma or PA); it accounts for approximately 3-4% of all salivary gland neoplasms. CXPA is exceedingly rare in the nasal cavity, with only three cases previously documented. Methods: We report two cases of women presenting with masses of the nasal cavity. The tumors were resected and evaluated grossly and by routine microscopy. Results: Both patients presented with nasal obstruction, and one patient reported epistaxis. Grossly, the tumors were 2.5 and 3 cm in greatest dimension, respectively. In each case, microscopic examination of the tumor revealed an infiltrating carcinoma arising in association with foci of benign PA. The carcinoma types were adenoid cystic carcinoma and high grade adenocarcinoma, not otherwise specified. Both cases were widely (i. e., >1.5 mm) invasive beyond the preexisting PA. The findings were diagnostic of CXPA. Conclusions: Carcinomatous transformation of a PA in the nasal cavity is extremely rare, but does occur. Accordingly, PAs of this site should be thoroughly sampled and closely examined to exclude the possibility of malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Carcinoma ex mixed tumor
  • Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma
  • Malignant mixed tumor
  • Nasal cavity
  • Nasal septum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oncology


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