Warthin’s tumor is the second most common tumor arising from the parotid gland, but it rarely occurs concomitantly with tuberculous granulomatous inflammation with only 13 documented case reports in the English literature.
An 82-year-old woman had a left infraauricular mass for approximately 3 years that had significantly increased in size over the previous 1 month.
A diagnosis of Warthin’s tumor was made by ultrasonography (US)-guided core needle biopsy. Pathological examinations of the specimen obtained by total extirpation confirmed that the tumor was superimposed with tuberculous granuloma.
The core biopsy wound did not heal and there was formation of a skin fistula tract with persistent discharge. During the operation with en bloc resection of the necrotic parotid tumor, adhesion between the branches of the facial nerve was too tight to allow preservation.
A diagnosis of necrotic Warthin’s tumor superimposed with tuberculous granuloma was made. Due to the high-clinical suspicion of tuberculosis (TB) due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, anti-TB chemotherapy was given.
Poor wound healing from a core biopsy and formation of a skin fistulous tract with persistent discharge should raise concern regarding potential extrapulmonary tuberculous infection. Although very rare, tuberculous granuloma concomitant with Warthin’s tumor should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a parotid mass lesion. Adhesion of branches of the facial nerve should be expected, and sacrifice of the nerve may be planned. This consideration can be explained to the patient in preoperative counseling and planning. Anti-TB chemotherapy should be given in cases with a definite pathological report associated with speculative clinical presentation.