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A case of a dermoid cyst compressing the airway. WMJ 2012 Dec;111(6):289-92



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84874808217   2 Citations


INTRODUCTION: In this report we discuss the etiology, common locations, diagnostic approach, and treatment of a dermoid cyst.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 22-year-old man arrived at the emergency department complaining of submental fullness, an increase in snoring, choking, gagging, and difficulty breathing. The patient was taken to the operating room for a complete resection of a large dermoid cyst that was compressing his airway.

DISCUSSION: Dermoid cysts are uncommon head and neck tumors mainly presenting in patients aged 15 to 35. The origin of dermoid cysts is thought to be congenital in most cases, but they can also develop from acquired factors such as trauma or surgical implantation that forces epithelial cells into deep tissues.

CONCLUSION: Although benign and often asymptomatic, dermoid cysts may cause other associated symptoms due to compression of structures in the head and neck.

Author List

Garcia-Rodriguez LR, Pawar S, Michel MA, Campbell BH


Bruce H. Campbell MD Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Michelle A. Michel MD Adjunct Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Sachin S. Pawar MD Chief, Associate Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Airway Obstruction
Dermoid Cyst
Diagnosis, Differential
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Young Adult