Orbital and periorbital dermoid cysts: a retrospective analysis of 270 lesions

Diana H. Kim, Daphna Landau Prat, Samuel Tadros, William R. Katowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To report the clinical characteristics and intraoperative findings of periorbital and orbital dermoid cysts and their relationship to location and rupture. Methods: Retrospective review of 270 cases with orbital or periorbital dermoid cysts that presented over a period of 11 years. Patients were included if diagnosis of dermoid cyst was made by histopathologic analysis. Clinical characteristics and operative outcomes were recorded and analyzed with Chi-squared analyses or univariate regression. Multivariate binary logistic regression was performed to assess predictors of location and rupture. Results: Dermoids frequently occurred unilaterally and were more frequently described as mobile (61.5%), followed by fixed (30.8%), and partially fixed (7.7%). Dermoid rigidity was most commonly described as firm (75.5%), followed by cystic, soft, and rubbery. The most common dermoid location was superotemporal (60.4%). On Chi-squared analysis, superotemporal lesions were less likely to have orbital extension than non-superotemporal lesions (OR 0.28, 95% CI: 0.11–0.70, p = .01), less likely to undergo CT (OR 0.16, 95% CI: 0.06–0.41, p < .01) or MRI (OR 0.23, 95% CI: 0.13–0.41, p < .01), more likely to be described as mobile (OR 2.91, 95% CI: 1.32–6.43, p = .01), and less likely to rupture intraoperatively (OR 0.28, 95% CI: 0.11–0.73, p = .01). No variables were associated with rupture in multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Superotemporal dermoid cysts are common in the pediatric population, less likely to have orbital extension, undergo imaging, and have intraoperative rupture when compared to other locations in the orbit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood tumor
  • choristoma
  • dermoid cyst
  • periorbital tumor


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