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Simple Ranula

Case Detail

Anatomy: Neck-Face
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Developmental or Congenital
Created: over 9 years ago
Updated: over 9 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: CT
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12 year old female with left submandibular mass.

Case Images


Simple Ranula

Clinical Notes

CT – Axial and cornonal images demonstrate a cystic lesion in the sublingual space on the left, medial to the digastric muscle.


A ranula is a mucous retention cyst formed as a result of obstruction of a sublingual or minory salivary gland. When the ranula remains within the sublingual space, it is designated a simple ranula; a diving or plunging ranula is one that herniates through or around the mylohyoid muscle and extends from the sublingual space to involve the submandibular and/or parapharyngeal spaces. Treatment requires complete resection and preoperative definition of the extent of the lesion is necessary. Differential consideration include epidermoid/dermoid cyst, 2nd branchial cleft cysts, cystic hygroma and thyroglossal duct cyst.


Coit WE, Harnsberger HR, Osborn AG, et al. Ranulas and their mimics: CT evaluation. Radiology (1987); 163:211-216.

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