Salivary glands
Primary salivary gland neoplasms

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Minor changes: 10 July 2020

Copyright: 2003-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Oncocytoma[TI] salivary glands

Adriana Handra-Luca, M.D.
Jen-Fan Hang, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 8,004
Page views in 2020 to date: 6,801
Cite this page: Handra-Luca A, Hang JF. Oncocytoma. website. Accessed October 28th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Benign tumor composed of oncocytes
  • Also called oxyphilic adenoma
  • 1 - 2% of salivary gland neoplasms; more frequent than oncocytosis and oncocytic carcinoma
Clinical features
  • Usually parotid gland mass, also submandibular gland or minor salivary glands
  • Mean age 60 years
  • 20% associated with radiation therapy or radiation exposure
  • Rarely bilateral, multiple
  • Rarely synchronous with Warthin tumor or carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma
  • May occur in trisomy 7 or in BHD syndrome
Radiology description
Case reports
  • Local excision
  • Excellent prognosis but may have late recurrence
Gross description
  • Well circumscribed with fibrous capsule, solid, tan-red-brown, lobulated, often small, may have cystic spaces
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Eosinophilic or clear cell (glycogen) with sheets, trabeculae, acini or follicular patterns of monotonous large polygonal cells with well defined cell borders, deeply eosinophilic, granular cytoplasm, small round nuclei
  • Vascular stroma, may have clear cell change, background of oncocytic nodular hyperplasia, psammoma bodies, tyrosine rich crystals
  • No mitotic figures, no elastosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Red-brown tumor with
central scar, oncocytes
packed with mitochondria,
oncocytic metaplasia of ducts

Cytology description
  • Cellular oncocytic aspirates with very clean background
  • Oncocytes show abundant finely granular cytoplasm, centrally placed or eccentric nuclei and occasional distinct nucleoli
  • Cellular arrangement can be irregular sheets, small clusters or single cells
Cytology images

Contributed by Jen-Fan Hang, M.D.

Clean background

Bland oncocytes

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Packed with mitochondria with partitions
Differential diagnosis
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