Fine needle aspiration cytology is an important diagnostic tool in cytopathology. There are many challenges and pitfalls encountered in intraoral salivary gland cytopathology as tumours of these glands show morphological diversity and overlapping features. There are often variable solid-cystic components, metaplastic or necrotic changes, fibrosis, hyalinisation and haemorrhage accounting for heterogeneity of these tumours. The tumour profile of intraoral salivary gland is quite different from the major salivary glands and needs special attention. A low-grade malignant tumour may sometimes mimic a benign neoplasm or a non-neoplastic lesion resulting in a false negative diagnosis. Moreover, misinterpretation and failure to recognize subtle morphological and architectural patterns of cells also pose diagnostic challenges. In this chapter, we intend to highlight the key cytopathological features of intraoral salivary gland tumours and tumour-like lesions with emphasis to overcome diagnostic challenges and pitfalls to avoid misdiagnosis which will aid in planning further management and treatment.
Part of the book: Oral Cancer