Salivary glands
Other tumors

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Minor changes: 17 March 2020

Copyright: 2003-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Melanoma[TI] salivary

Adriana Handra-Luca, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 286
Page views in 2020 to date: 272
Cite this page: Handra-Luca A. Melanoma. website. Accessed October 24th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Unusual site; typically sheets of cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm and prominent nucleoli
  • Median age 66 years, range 30 - 84 years
  • Usually represents metastatic disease from head and neck and is common metastasis to parotid (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2000;124:1780)
Clinical features
  • Often represents metastatic disease
  • Primary parotid tumors may be amelanotic
  • Intraparotid sentinel lymph node often assessed for head and neck melanoma staging (Laryngoscope 2006;116:1461)
  • Clinically presents with rapid increase in size
  • Poor prognosis due to distant spread (Laryngoscope 2003;113:1070); rare patients have prolonged survival after surgery
Case reports
  • Surgery, radiotherapy for primary melanoma
Gross description
  • Often multiple nodules
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Sheets of cells with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm and prominent nucleoli
  • Often spindle cell regions, angiolymphatic invasion, desmoplasia; may metastasize in salivary gland pleomorphic adenoma
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various melanomas

melanoma metastatic
to submandibular

Left: parotid lymph node, right: parotid gland

Left: S100, right: HMB45

Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
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