Differential challenges in salivary gland neoplasms


  • Nikola Živković Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Miloš Kostić Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Ana Cvetanović Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Maja Jovičić Milentijević Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Milan Spasić Department of Oral Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Milica Petrović Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Miloš Trajković Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Tijana Denčić Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš
  • Dane Krtinić Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Niš, Niš




salivary gland, neoplasm, morphometry, immunohistochemistry, Ki67


Paper description:

  • Salivary gland tumors are a rare group of neoplasms with a broad and overlapping histological presentation despite their dissimilar biological These tumors are a diagnostic challenge. A correct pathohistological diagnosis is the basis for the further course of treatment.
  • Using values of the Ki67 proliferative index and morphometric analysis, we could divide tumors into benign and malignant with high precision.
  • The obtained cut-off values for the proliferative index and the area and optical density indicate that they can serve as reliable parameters to differentiate between benign and malignant tumors.

Abstract: Salivary gland tumors are neoplasms characterized by a high level of pleomorphism and histological overlap. One tumor may contain several cell types; therefore, it is necessary to include immunohistochemical staining, as well as morphometric analysis of tumor cells as prerequisites for an appropriate diagnosis. Our research included 120 tumors, such as pleomorphic adenoma, Warthin tumor, basal cell adenoma, myoepithelioma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, salivary duct carcinoma, polymorphous low-grade carcinoma and myoepithelial carcinoma. The aim of the study was to differentiate benign and malignant tumors based on the characteristics of nuclei. The expression of Ki67 and the morphometric nuclear parameters – area, perimeter, Feret diameter, integrated optical density, circularity, and roundness, were analyzed. It was observed that the Ki67 proliferative index was statistically significantly higher in malignant tumors (P<0.001). Adenoid cystic carcinoma exhibited the highest value, whereas the lowest value was exhibited in basal cell adenoma. Morphometric analysis showed statistically significantly increased values of integrated optical density (P<0.001) and nuclear size parameters (P<0.05) in malignant tumors. The determination of the Ki67 proliferative index and morphometric analysis of the integrated optical density and area can differentiate benign from malignant tumors with high precision. The presented values suggest the obtained results as cut-off values.


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How to Cite

Živković N, Kostić M, Cvetanović A, Jovičić Milentijević M, Spasić M, Petrović M, Trajković M, Denčić T, Krtinić D. Differential challenges in salivary gland neoplasms. Arch Biol Sci [Internet]. 2021Mar.19 [cited 2022Aug.7];73(1):65-72. Available from: https://www.serbiosoc.org.rs/arch/index.php/abs/article/view/6051