Salivary gland tumours comprise approximately 6-8% of head and neck neoplasms. Elevated haematological inflammatory markers, such as neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR), have been shown to be predictive and prognostic in various malignancies. This Turkish retrospective study looked at 133 patients to determine if NLR and PLR had a predictive role in differentiating between benign and malignant salivary gland tumours. The levels of NLR (p=0.001) and PLR (0.014) were significantly higher in the malignant salivary gland tumour group compared to the benign group. NLR was found to have 75% sensitivity and 61% specificity, whilst PLR had 64% sensitivity and 44% specificity. This study highlights a potentially cheap and easily available (NLR and PLR can be calculated from full blood count data) test that can aid in the differentiation between benign and malignant salivary gland tumours. However, as the authors admit, further studies of larger samples are needed, particularly looking at the sensitivity and specificity of these tests in identifying malignant salivary gland tumours.

The value of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio and platelet to lymphocyte ratio in salivary gland tumours.
Kemal O, Kemal Y, Atmaca S, et al.
B-ENT
2019;15:33-7.
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Sunil Sharma

Great Ormond Street Hospital, UK.

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