Exophytic mass of the gingiva as the first manifestation of metastatic pulmonary adenocarcinoma

Pozzi, Elena C Ferrazzini; Altermatt, Hans Jörg; Rees, Terry D; Bornstein, Michael M (2008). Exophytic mass of the gingiva as the first manifestation of metastatic pulmonary adenocarcinoma. Journal of periodontology, 79(1), pp. 187-91. Chicago, Ill.: American Academy of Periodontology 10.1902/jop.2008.070246

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BACKGROUND: Metastasis of a malignant tumor to the oral cavity is rare, but it can be the first manifestation of a primary tumor. METHODS: The clinicopathologic features of a gingival metastasis originating from lung adenocarcinoma in a female patient are described. A 57-year-old woman showed a rapidly growing, painless, exophytic mass in the left mandibular gingiva. The whole lesion was excised, and histologic and immunohistochemical analyses were performed. RESULTS: The histopathologic sections showed a proliferation of poorly differentiated spindle and pleomorphic cells. Because the differentiation between carcinoma and sarcoma of spindle cell tumors was difficult, additional immunohistochemical evaluation was performed. The intraoral healing after tumor removal was uneventful. The discrepancy between the histopathologic results and the clinical findings led to a thorough examination by the patient's physician. Finally, a biopsy of the lungs confirmed a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma with multiple metastases, including the oral cavity. CONCLUSIONS: An exophytic lesion on the gingiva can be the first sign of metastatic adenocarcinoma to the oral mucosa. This case emphasizes that even apparently benign-looking gingival lesions in anamnestically healthy patients need to be examined histopathologically.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology

UniBE Contributor:

Bornstein, Michael




American Academy of Periodontology




Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:02

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2017 12:17

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/26761 (FactScience: 87935)

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