Objective: For patients undergoing an oncologic surgery, postoperative pathological diagnosis negative for a tumor is a confusing
outcome. Additionally, it may carry clinical and medicolegal consequences. The study defines the causes of such discrepancies
in order to prevent such instances in the future.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study of patients who had undergone resection of a major salivary gland for a suspected or
diagnosed primary tumor but had no tumor on surgical pathology.
Results: Eight patients (2.5%) had negative pathology. Causes for negative pathology were A) Surgical pathology error (n=3) B)
Surgical management error (n=1) C) Surgery for definite diagnosis (n=2) D) Unexplained (n=2).
Conclusions: Negative pathology in salivary gland surgery is not rare. Negative pathology should raise the suspicions of both
the surgeon and the pathologist. An immediate multidisciplinary review of all data will find the cause in most cases
Keywords: Negative pathology; no tumor on pathology; salivary gland tumor; parotid gland tumor