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Disappearing Dermoid: Fact or Fiction?

Maurice, Samuel M. MD*; Burstein, Fernando D. MD†‡

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p e31–e33
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3182420981
Brief Clinical Studies

Dermoid cysts are common periorbital lesions. They usually present early in life as mobile, palpable, well-circumscribed masses near the lateral brow. Transcranial extension of a superficial, nonmidline, periorbital dermoid cyst is rare. We report 2 cases of dermoid cysts of the lateral brow that were originally recognized during the newborn period. Over time, they appeared to be clinically resolved, but they presented years later with full-thickness bone erosion and transcranial extension. Excision was performed via a combined extracranial and intracranial approach. The treatment, pathophysiology, and natural history of orbitofacial dermoid cysts are reviewed.

From the *Center for Craniofacial and Children’s Reconstructive Surgery, Mercy Medical Center—Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa; †Center for Craniofacial Disorders, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite; and ‡Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Received February 24, 2011.

Accepted for publication April 3, 2011.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Samuel M. Maurice, MD, 330 Laurel St, Suite 1200, Des Moines, IA 50314; E-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Mutaz B. Habal, MD