Warthin tumor of the larynx: A case report and review of the literature | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Warthin tumor of the larynx: A case report and review of the literature

| Reprints
August 18, 2018
by Irit Duek, MD; Miki Paker, MD; Ziv Gil, MD, PhD; Jacob T. Cohen, MD


Warthin tumor (papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum) is a benign salivary gland tumor that occurs almost exclusively in the parotid gland. As far as we know, only 15 cases of laryngeal Warthin tumor have been previously reported worldwide. We describe the case of a 75-year-old woman with a supraglottic tumor that mimicked a mucoepidermoid carcinoma. The tumor was completely excised via a transcervical approach. Pathology identified it as a Warthin tumor. At follow-up, the patient maintained good oral intake. Computed tomography 3 months postoperatively confirmed complete tumor resection and detected no evidence of residual disease or recurrence. We also discuss our review of the literature on benign laryngeal salivary gland tumors, which included an analysis of 112 cases. The most common tumors were oncocytic cystadenomas (n = 65), pleomorphic adenomas (n = 28), and Warthin tumors (n = 15); we also found 2 cases each of basal cell adenomas and myoepitheliomas. The most common single tumor site was the glottis (n = 25), followed by the supraglottis (n = 24), and the subglottis (n = 22); 5 cases occurred in multiple sites, and the specific site was not reported in 36 cases. Benign laryngeal neoplasms of salivary gland origin should be carefully evaluated. Distinguishing these tumors from malignant lesions and establishing the correct diagnosis are crucial for treatment planning. Large lesions with extralaryngeal extension can be resected completely via an open external approach.

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