• basal cell adenoma;
  • salivary gland;
  • fine-needle aspiration;
  • cytopathology


Basal cell adenoma (BCA) is a rare benign basaloid neoplasm of the salivary gland. There are four histopathological types of BCA: solid, tubular, trabecular, and membranous. It is known that focal squamous metaplasia may be seen in some BCAs, but it is rare to see extensive squamous metaplasia, especially with cellular atypia. Here, a 25-year-old male with right parotid swelling is presented. Ultrasonography revealed a 2-cm well defined mass in his parotid gland. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA), performed prior to surgical excision, showed a highly cellular tumor composed of basaloid cells, forming small duct-like or tubular structures containing basement membrane-like material, as well as squamous cells with hyperchromatic, enlarged, pleomorphic, and bizzare nuclei. We made a cytopathological diagnosis of “basaloid neoplasm” and also reported that the differential diagnosis included BCA, cellular pleomorphic adenoma, basal cell adenocarcinoma, and carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma. The patient underwent total parotidectomy. Both frozen and permanent sections showed a BCA with membranous, tubulotrabecular pattern, and extensive squamous metaplasia. Some of the squamous cells showed significant nuclear hyperchromasia, enlargement, and pleomorphism. As far as we know, this is the first case of BCA with extensive squamous metaplasia and prominent cellular atypia. This case has been presented to show that squamous metaplastic cells with hyperchromatic, enlarged, bizarre, and pleomorphic nuclei can be seen on FNA smears of a benign tumor like BCA. Also, the differential diagnosis of BCA of the salivary gland is discussed here. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2012. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.