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Chondroid metaplasia mimicking recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

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January 1, 2009
by Shane K. Kohl, MD, Roger J. Simpson, MD, and James Wisecarver, MD, PhD


A 65-year-old woman presented with a “sore bump” on her tongue. She had a history of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that had been treated with surgery and radiotherapy 11 years earlier. The tongue lesion was excised, and pathologic examination identified a submucosal focus of benign-appearing cartilage. No evidence of dysplasia or malignancy was seen. She was diagnosed with chondroid metaplasia. Chondroid metaplasia involving the head and neck is rare. When it has occurred, it has been seen in both reactive and neoplastic settings. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a chondroid metaplasia of the tongue.

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