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Case report
Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the oral tongue: malignant transformation from a mucinous cystadenoma?
  1. Sofia Dutra1,
  2. Miguel Rito2,
  3. Miguel Vilares3 and
  4. Alexandra Borges4,5
  1. 1Radiology Department, Hospital do Divino Espirito Santo de Ponta Delgada, EPE, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
  2. 2Pathology Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, Lisboa, Portugal
  3. 3Head and Neck Surgery Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, Lisbon, Portugal
  4. 4Radiology Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia Lisboa Francisco Gentil, Lisboa, Portugal
  5. 5Radiology Department, Champalimaud Foundation for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexandra Borges; borgalexandra{at}


Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of minor salivary glands is an extremely rare entity that has only recently been described, with a few published cases in the English literature. A 42-year-old woman with a history of a surgically excised mucinous cystadenoma of the oral tongue, presented with a painful swelling in the oral tongue slowly growing for 1 month. On clinical examination, there was a firm, relatively well-circumscribed mass in the left posterior border of the mobile tongue. Subsequent MRI scan revealed a heterogeneous lesion composed of multiple cysts separated by contrast enhancing septa, in the posterior two-thirds of the left tongue. Imaging findings were similar to those of the previously resected mass, suggesting local relapse of the primary lesion. A complete surgical excision was performed and the histopathological examination revealed typical features of a low-grade mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of minor salivary glands.

  • radiology
  • head and neck cancer
  • head and neck surgery
  • pathology

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  • Contributors SD: Reviewed the subject, wrote, prepared and reviewed the manuscript. MR: Made the pathological diagnosis and reviewed the pathology specimens available, reviewed the pathology part of the manuscript. MV: Consulting surgeon responsible for the surgery, clinical management and follow-up of the patient and reviewed the manuscript. AB: Conceptualised and organised the manuscript, performed the imaging examinations a nd reviewed those performed in an outside institution, collected the images, responsible for the imaging follow-up, helped with the writing and reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.