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An unusual presentation of a lingual dermoid cyst

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October 31, 2015
by Megan L. Durr, MD; Annemieke van Zante, MD, PhD; Steven D. Pletcher, MD


Dermoid cysts are rare lesions of the head and neck that usually present in children as an asymptomatic, slowly growing mass. We report a case that demonstrates that dermoid cysts can present later in life as a recurrent acute infection. Our patient was a 48-year-old man with a 22-year history of recurrent abscesses of the tongue and floor of the mouth that had required a tracheotomy and multiple hospitalizations. Magnetic resonance imaging performed between acute episodes revealed the presence of a 1.8-cm lesion within the tongue musculature. The patient underwent resection, and pathology was consistent with a lingual dermoid cyst. At 2 years of follow-up, he experienced no recurrence of symptoms.

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