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BACKGROUND: The seromucinous glands of the nasal cavity, larynx, bronchi and ectopic sites share similar histology and repertoire of neoplasms with major and minor salivary glands. These rare neoplasms can be termed salivary gland neoplasms in unusual sites (SGNUS).
OBJECTIVE: To determine the pattern of presentation of SGNUS in the head and neck region.
METHODS: The records of the Departments of Oral Pathology and Pathology, University College Hospital Ibadan were examined and all histopathologically diagnosed salivary gland tumours (SGTs) occurring outside commonly known sites were included in the study. Demographic data such as patients’ age, gender, tumour topography and diagnosis were documented and analysed.
RESULTS: SGNUS made up 13.8% of SGTs seen with malignant tumours constituting 91.2%. The most common histological sub-type was adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) with 31.6% cases, while the mean age of occurrence of SGNUS was 47.9 ± 16.2 years. The tumours occurred more in males with M: F ratio of 1.5:1. The site with the most common affectation was the nasal cavity with 35.1%.
CONCLUSION: SGTs in unusual sites in the head and neck region have a tendency to be malignancies. They occur more frequently in males and are prevalent in the nasal cavity as shown by this study.