Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Epidermoid cysts of the orofacial region: A clinico-pathological study of 13 cases with review of literature

1 Department of Oral Pathology, Microbiology and Forensic Odontology, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rewa Malhotra,
Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, MAMC Complex, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpm.ijpm_1193_21

Background: Epidermoid cysts (ECs) are uncommon benign cystic lesions derived from the germinative epithelium. Head and neck ECs constitute only 7% of all ECs whereas only 1.6% are seen intraorally. The floor of the mouth is the commonest intraoral site whereas tongue, lips, buccal mucosa, and jaws are less commonly involved intraoral sites. To date, very few large case series of ECs of head and neck have been published. To the best of our knowledge, this is the third-largest case series of 11 intraoral ECs along with 2 extra-oral cases in the pre-auricular region. Aims: To highlight the typical and atypical features of ECs in the common as well as rare sites and draw attention to its consideration as a differential diagnosis for head and neck masses. Settings and Design: Archival data of 13 histopathological cases identified as ECs were analyzed from the Department of Oral Pathology at a tertiary dental hospital and college in New Delhi from 2007 to 2020. Methods and Materials: The demographic, clinical, radiographic, histopathological features, and treatment modalities were recorded and analyzed. Statistical Analysis Used: Appropriate statistical tests were used. Results: The study found strong male predilection in the ratio of 10:3 with an average age of presentation as 28 years. The pre-auricular region and floor of the mouth were the common sites involved followed by buccal mucosa, lips, and jaws. All patients presented with slowly growing swelling with dysphagia, dyspnea, and dysphonia seen in larger cysts on the floor of the mouth. Microscopically, all cases were lined with stratified squamous epithelium filled with laminated layers of keratin. Two cases showed the presence of melanin. One case showed recurrence even after complete surgical excision. Conclusion: ECs, though a rare entity, should be considered in differential diagnosis for head and neck masses and require close follow-up due to their potential for malignant transformation.

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