Dermoid and Epidermoid Cysts of Scalp: Case Series of 234 Consecutive Patients.

Author:Prior A, Anania P, Pacetti M, Secci F, Ravegnani M, Pavanello M, Piatelli G, Cama A, Consales A
Published on:World Neurosurg. 2018 Dec;120:119-124.


Le cisti dermoidi ed epidermoidi sono tra le lesioni più frequenti del cuoio capelluto nella popolazione pediatrica. Questo studio dimostra che l'escissione delle cisti dermoide e epidermoide è una procedura sicura e che la chirurgia precoce è efficace nel prevenire potenziali complicanze legate alla crescita della cisti.



Dermoid and epidermoid cysts are among the most frequent lesions of the scalp in the pediatric population. Optimal management of a suspected dermoid or epidermoid cyst in children is debated: Some authors advocate conservative management on the basis of the benign histology of these entities, while others prefer surgical excision.


Our objective is to demonstrate that excision of dermoid and epidermoid cysts is a safe procedure and that early surgery is effective in preventing potential complications related to cyst growth.


We retrospectively collected data on patients who underwent surgery for excision of proven dermoid or epidermoid cysts between January 2006 and October 2017.


In 234 patients, 237 cysts were excised. Mean age at presentation was 26.99 ± 32.7 months; 48.7% of patients were operated on between 1 and 3 years of age, and 32.9% were younger than 1 year of age. Cysts were more frequently located in the frontal bone than in occipital and supraorbital regions. In 36.28% of cases there was no significant cranial impingement, while 21.94% of the cysts eroded through a partial thickness of the cranium, 12.23% were in the full thickness of the skull, and 0.84% had epidural extension. We identified 22 intradiploic cysts. Statistical analysis demonstrated significant association between frontal and pterional localization and bone erosion. Neither major complications nor cyst recurrence were observed.


Excision of dermoid and epidermoid cysts is a safe procedure for neurosurgeons dealing with this disease, even in young patients. Early resection is recommended due to the potential adverse effects that may occur if these cysts are left untreated.

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