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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2000 May 30;52(3):219-27.

Nasopharyngeal teratomas and dermoids: a review of the literature and case series.

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Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA 98431-5000, USA.



Review the clinical differences between nasopharyngeal (NP) true teratomas and dermoids, with the addition of a case series to the literature. Additionally, review the impact of prenatal diagnosis on the management and outcome of these lesions.


Retrospective review of cases from the Children's Hospital Medical Center (Seattle, WA) and Madigan Army Medical Center (Tacoma, WA) with the histopathologic diagnosis of nasopharyngeal teratoma or dermoid. Review of medical literature for cases reported since 1977, when prenatal diagnosis of these lesions was first reported. Only tumors of the nasopharynx were considered.


Charts and pertinent literature were reviewed and data presented with respect to age at diagnosis, signs and symptoms, perinatal diagnosis and management, preoperative evaluation, surgical treatment, and outcome.


The majority of lesions were diagnosed at birth, with the most common presenting symptom being respiratory distress. Teratomas had a higher incidence of maternal polyhydramnios, preterm birth, need for emergent airway management, and associated congenital abnormalities. Complete surgical excision remains the treatment of choice. Recurrences were rare, occurring only in the teratoma group. Prenatal diagnosis did not have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of these lesions in our review.


Inconsistent use of a standard classification system has made differentiating between NP teratomas and dermoids difficult, although the clinical implications can be critical. NP teratomas have a higher incidence of preterm birth, neonatal airway distress, associated congenital abnormalities, need for more extensive surgical procedures, and recurrence. Prenatal diagnosis has made little impact on the overall diagnosis and treatment of these lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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