Oncocytoid artifact of the parotid gland: A newly reported artifact

Paul C. Shick, Robert B. Brannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrocautery can induce significant alterations in the connective tissues and epithelium of specimens removed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. When electrocautery is used during parotid surgery, it can cause an oncocytoid artifact. The alterations described in this article are enlarged, tightly packed serous acinar cells with coarse to granular eosinophilic cytoplasm, distinct cell borders, and round basal nuclei that on cursory microscopic examination resemble oncocytes with respect to morphology. These changes are seen in conjunction with other, more recognized changes secondary to electrocautery and are believed to occur as a consequence of the electrothermal discharge. On the basis of our findings, this artifact is common in parotid surgical specimens and was misdiagnosed as benign oncocytic lesions in 5 cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-722
Number of pages3
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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