The management of midline transcranial nasal dermoid sinus cysts

M Hanikeri, N Waterhouse, N Kirkpatrick, D Peterson, I Macleod
British Journal of Plastic Surgery 2005, 58 (8): 1043-50
The most common congenital midline nasal masses are nasal dermoid sinus cysts (NDSC) [Hughes GB, Sharpino G, Hunt W, Tucker HM. Management of the congenital midline nasal mass--a review. Head Neck Surg 1980;2:222-33.]. Their clinical importance hinges on their potential to communicate with the central nervous system. Preoperative diagnosis of an intracranial extension allows for referral to a craniofacial team with the appropriate skills and experience for a transcranial approach. All patients with a NDSC require imaging with high resolution multiplanar MRI scans and complimentary fine cut CT scan to reveal the anatomical extent of the tract and its relationship to the anterior cranial fossa. A single-stage craniofacial approach to resection of midline NDSC extending to the anterior cranial base is effective with minimal morbidity [Yavuzer R, Bier U, Jackson IT. Be careful: it might be a nasal dermoid cyst. Plast Reconstr Surg 1999;103:2082-3; Denoyelle F, Ducroz V, Roger G, Garabedian EN. Nasal dermoid sinus cysts in children. Laryngoscope 1997;107:795-800; Rohrich RJ, Lowe JB, Schwartz MR. The role of open rhinoplasty in the management of nasal dermoid cysts. Plast Reconstr Surg 1999;104:2163-70; Rahbar R, Shah P, Mulliken JB, et al. The presentation and management of nasal dermoid-a 30-year experience. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003;129:464-71; Posnick JC, Bortoluzzi P, Armstrong DC, Drake JM. Intracranial nasal dermoid sinus cysts: computed tomographic scan findings and surgical results. Plast Reconstr Surg 1994;93:745-54 [discussion 755-56]; Bartlett SP, Lin KY, Grossman R, Kratowitz J. The surgical management of orbitofacial dermoids in the pediatric patient. Plast Reconstr Surg 1993;91:1208-15.]. The cyst and tract are accessed through a combination of a nasal and transcranial approach. This allows visualisation and dissection of the tract with only a small incision on the nasal dorsum to include the cutaneous punctum when present. Transnasal endoscopic techniques have been advocated where the dermoid is located within the nasal cavity and there is little or no cutaneous involvement [Weiss DD, Robson CD, Mulliken JB. Transnasal endoscopic excision of midline nasal dermoid from the anterior cranial base. Plast Reconstr Surg 1998;101:2119-23.]. We present a review of five cases referred to our unit between 1999 and 2004 with a diagnosis of a midline nasal dermoid sinus cyst and radiological evidence of intracranial communication. All cases had a communication with the anterior cranial fossa diagnosed preoperatively and were treated surgically with a craniofacial approach. An intracranial extension was identified at operation in each case and this was confirmed on histopathology. The only significant complication resulted from an early postoperative infection, requiring re-operation. There were no recurrences and acceptable aesthetic outcomes have been observed in all cases.

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