Epidermoid cyst of the spleen

J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Mar;17(3):555-61. doi: 10.1007/s11605-012-2088-y. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Background: The aim of this study is to elucidate the characteristics, clinical presentations, and management of epidermoid cysts located in the spleen and the intrapancreatic accessory spleen.

Methods: Data pooled for analysis were collected from epidermoid cyst cases encountered in the study institution and sporadic case reports obtained from the English literature.

Results: There were 115 cases of epidermoid cyst. Seventy eight (67.8 %) were found in the spleen, whereas 37 (32.2 %) were found in the intrapancreatic accessory spleen. Comparing between the two groups, the splenic group showed female predominance, younger age, and larger cystic size. For symptoms, left upper abdominal mass (57.7 %) and left upper abdominal pain (39.0 %) were more commonly found in the spleen group. Meanwhile, the intrapancreatic accessory spleen group had higher percentage of asymptomatic cysts (59.5 %). As for surgical indication, majority of patients in the spleen group underwent surgery for symptomatic relief (75.4 %), while the intrapancreatic accessory spleen group underwent surgery mainly for suspicious malignancy (90.0 %).

Conclusions: Surgical treatment for epidermoid cysts of the spleen is considered the optimal treatment for either alleviating the symptoms caused by a bulky cyst or for determining the histopathologic nature of a suspicious malignant cystic neoplasm.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Choristoma / complications
  • Choristoma / diagnosis*
  • Choristoma / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Epidermal Cyst / complications
  • Epidermal Cyst / diagnosis*
  • Epidermal Cyst / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic Diseases / complications
  • Pancreatic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Diseases / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Sex Factors
  • Spleen
  • Splenectomy
  • Splenic Diseases / complications
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Splenic Diseases / surgery
  • Young Adult