Ranulas, like mucoceles, are terms that describe a pseudocyst that is associated with mucus extravasation into the surrounding tissues. A pseudocyst has no tissue lining, but is encased by the surrounding tissue.
Ranulas, which involve the major salivary glands, are divided into 2 types: oral ranulas and cervical ranulas. Oral ranulas are secondary to mucus extravasation that pools superior to the mylohyoid muscle, whereas cervical ranulas are associated with mucus extravasation along the fascial planes of the neck.
Ranulas have a prevalence of 0.2 cases per 1000 persons.
Causes of Ramula Cyst
The development of ranulas depend on the disruption of the flow of saliva from the secretory apparatus of the salivary glands. The lesions are most often associated with mucus extravasation, or leakage,into the adjacent soft tissues caused by an injury to the salivary gland duct.
Besides ductal disruption, partial or total excretory duct obstruction is involved in the pathogenesis of ranulas in some instances. The duct may become occluded by a stone, congenital malformation, stenosis, periductal fibrosis, periductal scarring due to prior trauma, excretory duct agenesis, or even a tumor.
Signs and Symptoms of Ramula Cyst
People afflicted with an oral ranula may complain of swelling of the floor of the mouth that is usually painless. The lump or mass may interfere with speech, chewing, respiration, and swallowing because of displacement of the tongue. Large oral ranulas may lead to secondary obstruction of the other salivery glands and produce pain or discomfort when eating, a feeling of fullness at that site, and increased swelling of the submandibular gland.
Cervical ranula's produce an enlarging asymptomatic neck mass.
In large oral and cervical ranulas, dysphagia and respiratory distress may be the chief complaints.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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