Occurrence and Characteristics of Head Cysts in Children

Noam Armon, MD; Sivan Shamay, MD; Alexander Maly, MD; Alexander Margulis, MD


ePlasty. 2010;10:e37 

In This Article


In the differential diagnosis of pediatric head masses, cysts are common entities. The diagnosis is primarily based on history and physical examination findings. Radiographs, particularly CT scans, should be used only when intracranial or intraorbital extension is suspected. Surgical excision is the definitive treatment and is performed to prevent subsequent infections, establish pathological diagnosis, and ameliorate a cosmetically deforming lesion. Recurrence is unusual after complete excision.

  • Ninety-five of the cysts fell in one of the 4 following categories: dermoid cyst, pilomatrixoma, epidermal cyst, and branchial arch cyst.

  • Dermoid cysts were the most common facial cyst (60%).

  • Imaging studies are indicated when intracranial or intraorbital extensions are suspected (midline lesions).

  • Branchial cysts, though congenital, were operated at an oldest age (6.8 years).

  • The most common location of dermoid cyst was periorbital.

  • Correct preoperative diagnosis was more accurate in cases of dermoid and branchial cyst.

  • The location manifested as a significant prediction of the cyst type by the physician.


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