Atypia of undetermined significance (AUS) is a category of the Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology that refers to salivary gland fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens that cannot be definitively diagnosed as neoplastic or nonneoplastic.
The AUS FNA samples were selected from a large academic institution from 2008 through 2018. The AUS cases were divided into 6 subgroups. The risk of malignancy (ROM), risk of neoplasm (RON), and clinical outcomes for each subgroup were evaluated.
A total of 123 cases were found (76 males and 47 females with a mean age of 62 years [range, 6-94 years]). The parotid gland was the most common FNA site (103 cases), followed by the submandibular gland (9 cases). The overall RON and ROM were 63% and 47%, respectively. Among the subgroups, salivary gland lymph nodes or lymphoid lesions was the most common diagnosis (42%), whereas mucinous cystic lesions with no or a scant epithelial component was the least common (2%). The specimens with preparation artifacts category had the highest RON and ROM (100% for both), whereas the reactive and reparative atypia indefinite for a neoplasm category had the lowest RON and ROM (7% for both). The salivary gland lymph nodes or lymphoid lesions indefinite for a lymphoproliferative disorder category had the second highest RON and ROM at 77% and 74%, respectively.
The overall RON and ROM for the AUS category were 63% and 47%, respectively. The RON and ROM varied among the different AUS subgroups, being highest in the specimens with preparation artifacts category and lowest in the reactive and reparative atypia category, thereby demonstrating the importance of subgrouping in the AUS specimens.