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Cystic lesion in parotid region: an unexpected diagnosis
  1. Carmelo Saraniti1,
  2. Gaetano Patti1,
  3. Vito Rodolico2 and
  4. Barbara Verro1
  1. 1Dipartimento di Biomedicina, Neuroscienze e Diagnostica Avanzata, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  2. 2Dipartimento Promozione della Salute, Materno-Infantile, di Medicina Interna e Specialistica di Eccellenza, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Carmelo Saraniti; carmelo.saraniti{at}


Benign tumours of salivary glands represent 2%–3% of all tumours and parotid gland is most often affected. Keratocystoma is a rare benign tumour with multilocular cystic lesions filled with keratin materials. Histologically, it is characterised by solid epithelium islands containing keratinised lamellae with multicystic spaces. We report a case of a woman in her mid-70s with painless mass in her left parotid gland which increased in size over 1 year. Ultrasound scan revealed a 38×20 mm diameter hypoanechoic mass. Neck CT with contrast medium and fine needle aspiration were performed with diagnostic hypothesis of Warthin tumour. So, extracapsular parotid dissection with no facial nerve damage was performed. Histological examination revealed a keratocystoma. The patient had a 16-month follow-up without signs of relapse or malignancy. Despite its rarity, keratocystoma must be considered among the possible differential diagnostic hypotheses when we find parotid masses, to ensure the best treatment to the patient.

  • Ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • Mouth
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Otolaryngology / ENT

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  • Contributors CS was responsible for conception, design, provision of study patient. GP was responsible for data collection and its analysis and manuscript writing. BV and VR was responsible of data analysis and manuscript writing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.