Clinical Outcomes of Ruptured Periorbital and Orbital Dermoid Cysts

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To evaluate the clinical outcomes of ruptured dermoid cysts.


A multicenter, retrospective study of all cases of periorbital and orbital dermoid cysts with histopathological evidence of rupture, including those with clinical rupture, was performed over a 10-year period. Demographics and clinical outcomes of ruptured dermoid cysts were recorded. Persistent inflammation was defined as the presence of edema, erythema, and discomfort for at least 28 days.


Eighty-six cases of dermoid cysts were identified. Median age was 5.5 (range, 1–63) years. Location of cyst was either periorbital (n = 60, 70%) or orbital (n = 26, 30%). There were 29 cases with clinically apparent rupture: 27 surgically ruptured (93%) and 2 spontaneous rupture (7%). Persistent inflammation was found in 1 spontaneous cyst rupture case (50%) and 1 surgically ruptured cyst (3.7%). Older age (p = 0.01) and bony attachment (p = 0.001) were significant factors for cyst rupture, while there was no influence from cyst location (p = 0.14).


Persistent inflammation is uncommon after surgical rupture of dermoid cysts, but likely after spontaneous rupture. Older age and bony attachment are risk factors for cyst rupture.

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