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Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma - Soft Palate Radiology

last modified on: Mon, 03/25/2024 - 08:35

​see: Buccal Fat Flap Palate Reconstruction - Mucoepidermoid cancer - Clinical case example

  • Malignant epithelial salivary gland neoplasm - 10-15% of all salivary neoplasms, 30% of all salivary malignancies (Peraza et al. 2020)
  • Among the major salivary glands, the parotid gland is the most common location; among the minor salivary gland tumors, the palate is the most frequent location (Dahan et al. 2020)
  • Arises from ductal epithelium, has both epidermoid and mucinous components (Peraza et al. 2020)
  • Increased prevalence among women between 50 to 60 years old (Dahan et al. 2020)
  • Translocation involving t(11;19)(q21;p13) is associated with 40-90% of cases (Skálová et al. 2022)
  • Symptoms may include pressure and/or discomfort (Peraza et al. 2020)
  • Treatment - surgical resection, may consider postoperative radiotherapy for advanced cases (Peraza et al. 2020)
  • Late recurrence is common - follow-up may be considered for at least ten years following resection
  • Appearance changes according to grade (Peraza et al. 2020)
    • Low-grade lesions are well-circumscribed, more cystic, minimal cytologic atypia/mitoses
    • High-grade lesions are infiltrative, more solid, less mucous cells, more epidermoid cells
  • Will enhance on contrast-enhanced CT
  • MR imaging shows a hypointense lesion on both T1 and T2 weighting


Taxy, J. "Pathology of head and neck neoplasms" Up to Date. Mar 26, 2018.

Peraza A, Gómez R, Beltran J, Amarista FJ. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma. An update and review of the literature. J Stomatol Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Dec;121(6):713-720. doi: 10.1016/j.jormas.2020.06.003. Epub 2020 Jun 18. PMID: 32565266.

Skálová A, Hyrcza MD, Leivo I. Update from the 5th Edition of the World Health Organization Classification of Head and Neck Tumors: Salivary Glands. Head Neck Pathol. 2022 Mar;16(1):40-53. doi: 10.1007/s12105-022-01420-1. Epub 2022 Mar 21. PMID: 35312980; PMCID: PMC9018948.

Dahan LS, Giorgi R, Vergez S, Le Taillandier de Gabory L, Costes-Martineau V, Herman P, Poissonnet G, Mauvais O, Malard O, Garrel R, Uro-Coste E, Barry B, Bach C, Chevalier D, Mouawad F, Merol JC, Bastit V, Thariat J, Gilain L, Dufour X, Righini CA, Moya-Plana A, Even C, Radulesco T, Michel J, Baujat B, Fakhry N; REFCOR members. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of salivary glands: A French Network of Rare Head and Neck Tumors (REFCOR) prospective study of 292 cases. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2021 Jun;47(6):1376-1383. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2020.11.123. Epub 2020 Nov 21. PMID: 33248902.