Uncommon congenital swellings around external ear in adults


  • Nidhi Desai Department of ENT, MGM College and Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
  • Reena Vare Department of ENT, MGM College and Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
  • Anil Vare Department of Pathology, MGM College and Hospital, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India




External ear swelling, Congenital ear cyst, Branchial cleft cyst, Epidermal cyst


Congenital cyst around external ear appearing in adulthood is rare condition. Such lesions arising around the external auditory canal that requires surgical excision are uncommon and their clinical and surgical management is often difficult because these anomalies have variable relationship with facial nerve. In this study, we investigated characteristics of congenital cysts of the external ear by analyzing their clinical and histo-pathological features. Here we described 3 unique cases with localization of an epithelial cyst, type 1 branchial cleft cyst and epidermal inclusion cyst in adults which are uncommon, congenital and rare.


Doi O, Hutson JM, Myers NA, McKelvie PA. Branchial remnants: a review of 58 cases. J Pediatr Surg. 1988;23(9):789-92.

Aziz M. Epidermoid cyst of the external auditory canal in children: diagnosis and management. J Craniofac Surg. 2011;22(4):1398-400.

Jung KH, Choi HJ, Nam DH. Characteristics of Dermoid Cyst of the Auricle. Arch Craniofac Surg. 2014;15(1):22-7.

Tovi F, Bartal N, Zirkin C. Epidermal cysts of temporal fossa: an unusual complication of ear surgery. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1985;94(2):162-4.

Ulku CH, Uyar Y, Kocaogullar Y, Avunduk MC. Iatrogenic epidermal inclusion cyst of the parapharyngeal space: unusual complication of ear surgery. Skull Base. 2004;14(1):47-51.

Lee DH. Intradiploic epidermoid cyst of the temporal bone: is it the same as or different from cholesteatoma? J Craniofac Surg. 2011;22(5):1973-5.

Cho Y, Lee DH. Clinical Characteristics of Idiopathic Epidermoid and Dermoid Cysts of the Ear. J Audiol Otol. 2017;21(2):77-80.

Chan KC, Chao WC, Wu CM. Surgical management of first branchial cleft anomaly presenting as infected retroauricular mass using a microscopic dissection technique. Am J Otolaryngol. 2012;33(1):20-5.

Badiola I, San Miguel-Fraile P, Peteiro-Cancelo A, Ortiz-Rey JA. Squamous cell carcinoma arising on an epidermal inclusion cyst: a case presentation and review of the literature. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2010;101(4):349-53.






Case Series