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J Radiol Case Rep. 2011;5(6):18-24. doi: 10.3941/jrcr.v5i6.682. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Plunging ranula.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University, 333 Cedar St, New Haven, CT 06520-8042, USA.


Plunging ranulas are rare cystic masses in the neck that are mucous retention pseudocysts from an obstructed sublingual gland. They "plunge" by extending inferiorly beyond the free edge of the mylohyoid muscle, or through a dehiscence of the muscle itself, to enter the submandibular space. Imaging demonstrates a simple cystic lesion in the characteristic location and can be used to delineate relevant surgical anatomy. Surgical excision of the collection and the involved sublingual gland is performed for definitive treatment. We present a case of plunging ranula in a 44 year old female who presented with a painless, slowly enlarged neck mass. Plunging ranulas should be considered in the differential diagnosis of cystic neck masses, specifically when seen extending over, or through, the mylohyoid muscle.


cystic neck masses; diving ranula; plunging ranula; ranula

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