Tonsillar lymphangiomatous polyps: a clinicopathologic series of 26 cases.

Kardon DE, Wenig BM, Heffner DK, Thompson LD.
Mod Pathol. 2000 Oct;13(10):1128-33.
BACKGROUND: Lymphangiomatous polyps are uncommon benign tumors of the tonsils.
METHODS: Twenty-six cases of lymphangiomatous polyps diagnosed between 1980 and 1999 were retrieved from the files of the Otorhinolaryngic-Head and Neck Tumor Registry of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides were reviewed to characterize the histologic features of these tumors. Immunohistochemical stains were performed on 15 cases. Clinical follow-up data were obtained.
RESULTS: The patients included 13 males and 13 females, ages 3 to 63 years (mean, 25.2 years). Patients experienced dysphagia, sore throat, and the sensation of a mass in the throat. Symptoms were present from a few weeks to years. The tonsillar masses were unilateral in all cases. Clinically, the lesions were frequently mistaken for a neoplasm (n = 18 patients). Grossly, all of the lesions were polypoid and measured 0.5 to 3.8 cm (mean, 1.6 cm). Histologically, the polyps were covered by squamous epithelium showing variable epithelial hyperplasia, dyskeratosis, and lymphocytic epitheliotropism. The masses showed a characteristic submucosal proliferation of small to medium-sized, endothelial-lined, lymph-vascular channels lacking features of malignancy. Collagen, smooth muscle, and adipose tissue were present in the stroma. Intravascular proteinaceous fluid and lymphocytes were noted. Immunohistochemical findings confirmed the endothelial origin of the vascular proliferation and a mixed lymphoid population. The differential diagnosis included fibroepithelial polyp, lymphangioma, juvenile angiofibroma, and squamous papilloma. In all patients with follow-up, complete surgical excision was curative (mean follow-up, 5.4 years; range, 1 mo to 14 years).
CONCLUSIONS: We detail the clinical and pathologic features of tonsillar lymphangiomatous polyps. These tumors are uncommon and may clinically be mistaken for a malignant neoplasm. The characteristic histologic features should allow for its correct diagnosis and differentiation from similar appearing tonsillar lesions.
PubMed ID: 11048808
Article Size: 2.5 MB