a1 Department of Otolaryngology, El-Sahel Teaching Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
Objective: A plunging ranula is an uncommon cause of neck swelling which typically presents in a gradually progressive fashion. This report describes a rare case of acute presentation of a plunging ranula. The condition progressed rapidly to respiratory distress, requiring urgent surgery.
Case report: A 14-year-old male student presented with a rapidly enlarging neck swelling associated with a sublingual swelling. Computed tomography suggested the diagnosis of plunging ranula. Several hours after admission, the neck swelling became very tense and the sublingual swelling enlarged dramatically. The tongue was pushed upwards and backwards by the sublingual swelling, causing respiratory embarrassment and requiring urgent surgery. Four months after surgery, there was no evidence of recurrence.
Conclusion: To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first case report of a plunging ranula progressing acutely and rapidly to cause respiratory compromise. The literature is reviewed and pertinent features concerning the diagnosis and management of plunging ranula are presented.
(Accepted October 05 2011)
(Online publication May 15 2012)
Dr K G Effat takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper
Competing interests: None declared