Oral cavity
Other benign tumors / conditions
Subgemmal neurogenous plaque

Author: Vasiliki Tzelepi, M.D., Hillary Zalaznick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 8 December 2017, last major update December 2017

Copyright: (c) 2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: subgemmal neurogenous plaque
Cite this page: Tzelepi, V., Zalaznick, H. Subgemmal neurogenous plaque . PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavitysnp.html. Accessed April 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Normal neural structure associated with taste buds
Essential features
  • Generally asymptomatic but may present as white or red patches, hyperplastic nodules, ulcers or complaints of a burning sensation
  • Also called the subepithelial nerve plexus of taste buds
  • Posterior third of the lateral tongue
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
Shows a biphasic pattern:
  • Superficial part of the lesion
    • Contains elongated and wavy spindle cells running in parallel to the epithelium
    • Can contain varying amounts of collagen
    • May have an inflammatory infiltrate and lymphoid follicles
  • Deeper part of the lesion
    • Contains small nerve fascicles and scattered ganglion cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Dr. Vasiliki Tzelepi, University of Patras, Patras (Greece):

Lateral border of tongue

Taste buds





Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
Board review question #1
Which of the following is true of subgemmal neurogenous plaque?

A. They can be located anywhere in the head and neck
B. They are aggressive lesions that typically recur after excision
C. They are normal neural structures associated with taste buds
D. They arise in response to trauma
Board review answer #1
C. They are normal neural structures associated with taste buds