Sequestered plunging ranula: a case report and literature review


  • Ashwath Narayan Ramji Department of Surgery, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India



Ranula, Plunging ranula, Salivary gland, Sublingual gland, Submandibular gland, Neck swellings, Retention cyst, Oral surgery, Cervical fascia


Ranula are swellings arising from the sublingual or submandibular salivary glands either due to mucus extravasation or the formation of mucus retention cysts. They are located on the floor of the mouth, generally have an insidious course and remain asymptomatic unless they grow very large or develop secondary complications. Occasionally, by dividing through cervical facial planes, they present as swellings in the neck, aptly called plunging ranulas. Plunging ranulas, therefore, have an intra-oral component and an extra-oral component; however rarely, the intra-oral component resolves leaving behind an isolated swelling in the neck, making the diagnosis a clinical challenge.


Peters E, Kola H, Doyle-Chan W. Bilateral congenital oral mucous extravasation cysts. Pediatr Dent. 1999;21:286-9.

Greenberg MS, Glick M, Ship JA. Burket oral medicine. 11th ed. Hamilton: BC Decker; 2008: 203.

Gupta A, Karjodkar FR. Plunging ranula: a case report. ISRN Dentistry. 2011;806928.

Beltagi EAH, Ahmed ES, Far A, Sahmmary AN. Horseshoe shaped, anterior crossing ranula, a case report. Eur J Radiol Extra. 2007;64:95-8.

Davison MJ, Morton RP, McIvor NP. Plunging ranula: clinical observations. Head Neck. 1998;20:63-8.

Hidaka H, Oshima T, Kakehata S, Watanabe K, Toshima M, Suzuki H, et al. Two cases of plunging ranula managed by the intra oral approach. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2003;200(1):59-65.

Dietrich EM, Banikas V, Lazaridou M, Papaemmanouil S, Antoniades K. Sublingual-plunging ranula as a complication of supraomohyoid neck dissection. Int J Surg Case Reports. Available at Accessed 18 May 2019.

Neville BW, Damm DD, Allen CM, Bouquot JE. Oral and maxillofacial Pathology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2009: 454-457.

Ramji AN. Branchial cleft cyst or tubercular lymphadenitis: a case report of a medical masquerade. Ar Med Surg Pathol. 2019;2:103.

Sheikhi M, Jalalian F, Rashidipoor R, Mosavat F. Plunging ranula of the submandibular area. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2011;8(1):114-8.