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OBJECTIVE: Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is the most common malignant epithelial salivary gland tumour and histologically it presents with varying proportions of epidermoid, mucous, and intermediate cells. This study aims to describe the clinicohistological features of MEC managed at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and compare two quantitative histologic grading systems for MEC.
METHODS: The study examined previously diagnosed cases of MEC between 1980 and 2018 in LUTH. Data on age, sex and site were retrieved from the archives. Cases were categorized according to Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) and modified Brandwein (MB) criteria. Data analysis was done using SPSS Windows version 21.0.
RESULTS: Of the 56 cases of MEC studied 30 (53.4%) were males and 26 (46.6%) were females (1.15:1). The minor glands were the most frequently involved site with 43 (76.8%) cases. There was a significant difference between the mean age of patients with minor salivary glands (45.3±19.6) MEC and major glands (27.9±21.4) MEC, (P=0.007). High grade tumours were the most common histological type in both the AFIP 31 (55.4%) and MB 35 (62.5%) systems. For the MB criteria, there was a significant association (P=0.021) between the occurrences of high grade MEC in the minor salivary glands.
CONCLUSION: In this study, MEC had an almost equal sex predilection and was more common in minor salivary glands. The MB grading system uncovers more MECs as high-grade tumours than the AFIP system. Appropriate grading of MEC is an indispensable part of good case management.