Oral cavity & oropharynx

Soft tissue tumors & proliferations

Subgemmal neurogenous plaque

Topic Completed: 1 December 2017

Minor changes: 12 May 2021

Copyright: 2017-2021, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Subgemmal neurogenous plaque

Hillary Zalaznick, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 701
Page views in 2021 to date: 638
Cite this page: Tzelepi V, Zalaznick H Subgemmal neurogenous plaque. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavitysnp.html. Accessed November 29th, 2021.
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 Vasiliki Tzelepi, M.D.

Lateral border of tongue

Taste buds



CK8 / 18

Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
Board review style 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 style answer #1
C. They are normal neural structures associated with taste buds

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