Canalicular adenoma

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Canalicular adenoma
Canalicular adenoma -- high mag.jpg
SpecialtyENT surgery

Canalicular adenoma is a type of benign salivary gland tumor that occurs most often in minor salivary glands. In addition to pleomorphic adenoma, the two are the most common tumors of the upper lip.


In 95% of cases, canalicular adenoma occurs on the upper lip. The next most common location is the buccal mucosa (inner cheek). Other sites of the mouth, including the parotid gland, are rare for this disease.

Canalicular adenoma is most likely to occur in older adults around 70 years of age. There is a predilection for gender with most cases being in females. Canalicular adenoma is characterized as a slow growing, painless swelling, whose diameter can be up to 2 cm. It can be normal or bluish in color.


The appearance of this tumor microscopically is very distinct. There are cords of columnar or cuboidal epithelium, which have basophillic nuclei. Parallel rows of cords appear to form long canals. Frequently, there are large cystic spaces. There are no stromal alterations evident.


Treatment usually consists of local surgical removal of the swelling. Recurrence is unlikely.


  • Kahn, Michael A. Basic Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Volume 1. 2001.