Giant epidermal inclusion cyst

Case contributed by Dr Katia Kaplan-List


59 year-old male presented with altered mental status and history of lung cancer. Also has a large soft tissue mass in the occipital region since childhood.

Patient Data

Age: 59
Gender: Male

Axial and sagittal MRI images demonstrate a large well circumscribed iso-T1, intermediate to high T2 signal intensity mass arising in or just beneath the skin without restricted diffusion. On post-contrast images there is only thin discontinuous peripheral enhancement. Also, note a ring-enhancing lesion in the right occipital region, a biopsy-proven metastatic lung carcinoma.


Scalp mass, biopsy-proven epidermal inclusion cyst. 

Case Discussion

The mass was excised. Pathology report came back as epidermal inclusion cyst. Epidermal inclusion cysts (epidermoid cysts) most frequently occur on the face, scalp, neck, and trunk. Most arise from the follicular infundibulum.They are usually benign, however rare cases of malignant transformation, possibly due to chronic irritation or repetitive trauma to the epithelial lining of the cyst, have been reported.

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Case information

rID: 41933
Published: 4th Jan 2016
Last edited: 5th Jan 2016
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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