Lymph nodes - not lymphoma
Inclusions, pigment, ectopic cells or tissue
Salivary gland inclusions

Senior Author: Abdelsalam Sharabi, M.D.
Jayalakshmi Balakrishna, M.D.

Topic Completed: 1 July 2014

Revised: 1 February 2019, last major update July 2014

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Salivary gland inclusions [title]

Jayalakshmi Balakrishna, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 941
Page views in 2020 to date: 242
Cite this page: Balakrishna J. Salivary gland inclusions. website. Accessed March 31st, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Benign salivary gland structures in lymph nodes
  • Includes ducts and acini
  • Salivary gland inclusions
  • Ectopic salivary tissue
  • Heterotropic salivary gland tissue
  • Common incidental finding
  • Most common in upper cervical lymph nodes
  • Rarely - thoracic, mediastinal lymph nodes
  • Considered a normal event related to the embryology of the region
Clinical features
  • None - incidental finding
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
Prognostic factors
  • Benign with no significance
  • May undergo diseases of salivary glands including neoplastic processes - Warthin tumor is most common tumor
Case reports
  • Usually none, but may be indicated based on clinical situation
Clinical images

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Circumscribed mass lesions due to
sialometaplasia arising in ectopic
salivary gland ductal inclusions

Gross description
  • Normal / enlarged lymph nodes
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Both ducts and acini are usually present
  • Benign ducts are lined by double layer of epithelium and myoepithelium
  • Benign acini have zymogen granules
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:
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Salivary gland inclusion in lymph node

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Inclusions undergoing sialometaplasia show extensive squamous metaplasia

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Inclusions with sialometaplasia: SMA

Differential diagnosis
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