Benign salivary gland tissue inclusion in a pulmonary hilar lymph node from a patient with invasive well-differentiated adenocarcinoma of the lung: A potential misinterpretation for the staging of carcinoma Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Choristoma
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Salivary Glands


  • Benign epithelial and nonepithelial inclusions have been found in lymph nodes in multiple body sites. These inclusions have been seen in cervical, axillary, mediastinal, abdominal, and pelvic lymph nodes. They appear as benign epithelial, parathyroid, decidual, mesothelial, angiolipomatous, nevus cells, or Tamm-Horsfall protein. Although heterotopic salivary gland tissue is not infrequent in paraparotid lymph nodes, it has only been described in lymph nodes of the pulmonary hilum once. A 68-year-old woman with gastric lymphoma now in remission presented for routine follow-up and was found to have a lung mass. After a fine needle aspiration biopsy diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, lobectomy and lymph node dissection were performed. Histological sections of lung demonstrated a well-differentiated adenocarcinoma and one lymph node, which displayed a subcapsular nest of well-formed salivary glands occupying approximately one third of the nodal tissue. The inclusion was composed of acinar cells of both serous and mucinous types, but ductal type of cells were not seen. Identification of heterotopic tissue in lymph nodes is of great importance for patient management. Misdiagnosing benign glandular inclusions for metastasis could potentially lead to incorrect tumor staging. Benign salivary gland tissue inclusions should be considered in the differential diagnosis when evaluating for metastatic adenocarcinoma. The salivary gland inclusion in pulmonary hilar lymph node may be histogenetically related to the minor salivary glands, which are located within the bronchial submucosa.

publication date

  • June 2011



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1066896910382544

PubMed ID

  • 21087984

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 382

end page

  • 5


  • 19


  • 3