Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories
15th National Conference of the IAOMFP, Chennai, 2006
Abstracts from current literature
Acne in India: Guidelines for management - IAA Consensus Document
Art & Psychiatry
Association Activities
Association Notes
Award Article
Book Review
Brief Report
Case Analysis
Case Letter
Case Letters
Case Notes
Case Report
Case Reports
Clinical and Laboratory Investigations
Clinical Article
Clinical Studies
Clinical Study
Conference Oration
Conference Summary
Continuing Medical Education
Cosmetic Dermatology
Current Best Evidence
Current Issue
Current View
Derma Quest
Dermato Surgery
Dermatosurgery Specials
Dispensing Pearl
Do you know?
Drug Dialogues
Editor Speaks
Editorial Remarks
Editorial Report
Editorial Report - 2007
Editorial report for 2004-2005
Fourth All India Conference Programme
From Our Book Shelf
From the Desk of Chief Editor
Get Set for Net
Get set for the net
Guest Article
Guest Editorial
How I Manage?
IADVL Announcement
IADVL Announcements
IJDVL Awards
IJDVL Awards 2018
IJDVL Awards 2019
IJDVL Awards 2020
IJDVL International Awards 2018
Images in Clinical Practice
In Memorium
Inaugural Address
Knowledge From World Contemporaries
Leprosy Section
Letter in Response to Previous Publication
Letter to Editor
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor - Case Letter
Letter to the Editor - Letter in Response to Published Article
Letter to the Editor - Observation Letter
Letter to the Editor - Study Letter
Letter to the Editor - Therapy Letter
Letter to the Editor: Articles in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters in Response to Previous Publication
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor - Letter in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters to the Editor: Case Letters
Letters to the Editor: Letters in Response to Previously Published Articles
Medicolegal Window
Miscellaneous Letter
Net Case
Net case report
Net Image
Net Letter
Net Quiz
Net Study
New Preparations
News & Views
Observation Letter
Observation Letters
Original Article
Original Contributions
Pattern of Skin Diseases
Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Rounds
Presedential Address
Presidential Address
Presidents Remarks
Report of chief editor
Report of Hon : Treasurer IADVL
Report of Hon. General Secretary IADVL
Research Methdology
Research Methodology
Resident page
Resident's Page
Resident’s Page
Residents' Corner
Residents' Corner
Residents' Page
Review Article
Review Articles
Revision Corner
Self Assessment Programme
Seminar: Chronic Arsenicosis in India
Seminar: HIV Infection
Short Communication
Short Communications
Short Report
Special Article
Specialty Interface
Study Letter
Study Letters
Symposium - Contact Dermatitis
Symposium - Lasers
Symposium - Pediatric Dermatoses
Symposium - Psoriasis
Symposium - Vesicobullous Disorders
Symposium Aesthetic Surgery
Symposium Dermatopathology
Symposium-Hair Disorders
Symposium-Nails Part I
Symposium-Nails-Part II
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
Therapeutic Guideline-IADVL
Therapeutic Guidelines
Therapeutic Guidelines - IADVL
Therapy Letter
Therapy Letters
View Point
What’s new in Dermatology

Translate this page into:

Case Report

Pseudocyst of the auricle

S Kaur, GP Thami, M Bhalla
 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Gevernment Medical College and Hospital Sector 32 B, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
G P Thami
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Gevernment Medical College and Hospital Sector 32 B, Chandigarh
How to cite this article:
Kaur S, Thami G P, Bhalla M. Pseudocyst of the auricle. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2003;69:85-86
Copyright: (C)2003 Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology


Pseudocyst of the auricle is a rare, asymptomatic intracartilaginous swelling of the auricle resulting form accumulation of yellow viscous fluid with unknown cause. Various methods of treatment such as aspiration, corticosteroid injections and surgical intervention have been advocated for this condition. We report two cases treated successfully with a combination of aspiration, pressure dressing and oral corticosteroid therapy.
Keywords: Pinna, Pseudocyst, Corticosteroids


Pseudocyst of the auricle is a rare, asymptomatic, cystic, swelling of the upper portion of the auricle. It results from spontaneous collection of an oily, serous fluid within an unlined intracartilaginous cavity.[1] The etiology and pathogenesis of this condition is not known. Although various medical and surgical therapeutic approaches have been described, the treatment of pseudocyst of auricle is difficult and recurrences are frequent.[2] We describe two patients treated successfully with a combination of needle aspiration and pressure dressing and a short course of systemic corticosteroids.

Case Report

A 30-year-old male presented with an asymptomatic swelling of the right pinna of 15 days duration. There was no history of trauma to the ear prior to onset of the swelling and he had no significant illness in the past. On examination there was a 2.5 x 3cm cystic, non-tender swelling involving the concha of the right pinna with normal overlying skin [Figure - 1]. A clinical diagnosis of pseudocyst of the auricle was made.

Taking strict aseptic precautions, the pseudocyst was aspirated completely with a No. 20G needle. Thereafter a tight dressing was applied over the pinna with a roller bandage, encircling the forehead. The bandage was removed after one week and the oral prednisolone was continued for another three weeks, reducing the dose by 10mg each week. Complete resolution of the auricular swelling was observed, without any complications.

Case 2: A 25-year-old male presented with a one-week history of a painless swelling in the upper part of left ear. There was no preceding history of trauma to the ear and his general health was preserved. On examination of the left ear there was a cystic, non-tender 2.5 x 3.5 cm sized swelling over the concha. A clinical diagnosis of pseudocyst of the auricle was made. The swelling was aspirated with a No. 20G needle under aseptic precautions and pressure dressing with bandage was applied, which was removed after one week. A 4-week course of oral prednisolone was given, starting with 40mg daily and reducing the dose 10mg each week. The swelling disappeared completely, without any complications or recurrence over 2 months follow up.


Pseudocyst of the auricle is characterized by a unilateral, asymptomatic, cystic swelling of the helix or the antihelix, most often located in the scaphoid fossa.[1] Engel in 1966 first reported the pseudocyst of auricle in the Chinese.[3] This rare disorder results from spontaneous accumulation of a sterile, oily yellowish fluid, resembling olive oil. It is mostly observed in young adult males and presents clinically as a solitary, fluctuant, non-inflammatory swelling of the upper portion of the auricle with normal overlying skin.[1],[2],[3]

The etiopathogenesis of auricular pseudocyst is still unknown. Reported minor trauma leading to cartilage fragmentation and cystic cavity formation has been proposed, while another study supports the hypothesis of congenital embryonic dysplasia as the origin of formation of pseudocyst of the auricle.[2]

Histopathology reveals an intracartilaginous accumulation of fluid without an epithelial lining. The lack of epithelial lining led to the term ′pseudocyst′. In early lesions, the cystic space is surrounded by fibrosed cartilage while in some areas necrosis and total dissolution of the cartilage may be present.1 In later stages, intracavity foci of granulation tissue and more extensive intracartilaginous fibrosis is present.[4]

Several treatment modalities have been described with variable success. The aim of treatment is successful resolution of the pseudocyst without damage to the healthy cartilage and to prevent its recurrences.[5] Various treatments reported in literature include simple aspiration, intralesional injection of corticosteroids, and aspiration in combination with bolstered pressure sutures or plaster of paris cast.[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] More invasive techniques like incision and drainage of the cavity followed by its obliteration by curettage, sclerosing agent and pressure dressing; open deroofing that involves removal of the anterior cartilaginous leaflet of pseudocyst with repositioning of the overlying flap of skin have also been recommended.[2] However, the invasive treatment modalities carry the risk of perichondritis complicated by formation of floppy ear or cauliflower deformity and may be followed by recurrences.[5]

Although intralesional corticosteroid injections have been employed,[7] oral corticosteroid therapy has not been commonly utilized for these patients. Raman et al have reported successful treatment of four patients with high dose oral prednisolone therapy.[10] They proposed that corticosteroids might help to prevent intracartilaginous fibrosis and formation of intracavitary granulation tissue. The anti-inflammatory action of corticosteroids may also contribute to prevent edema and fibrosis of the dermis. The accumulated fluid is gradually resorbed with good cosmetic results.[10]

We combined needle aspiration and pressure dressing with a short course of oral corticosteroids. Both the patients responded well to treatment without any complications or recurrences. However, further studies are required to establish firmly the role of oral corticosteroids, which have the advantage of being a non-invasive therapeutic modality.

Cohen PR, Grossman ME. Pseudocyst of the auricle:case report and world literature reviwe. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1990; 116:1202-1204.
[Google Scholar]
Harder M, Zachary C. Pseudocyst of the ear: Surgical treatment. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1993; 19:585-588.
[Google Scholar]
Engel D. Pseudocyst of the auricle in the Chinese. Arch Otolaryngol 1966; 83;197-202.
[Google Scholar]
Heffner DK, Hyamo VJ. Cystic chondromalacia (endochondral pseudocyst) of the auricle. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1986; 110:740-743.
[Google Scholar]
Schulte KW, Neumann NJ, Ruzicka T. Surgical pearl: The close fitting ear cover cast-a noninvasive treatment for pseudocyst of the ear. J Am Acad Dermatol 2001; 44:285-287.
[Google Scholar]
Hegde R, Shargava S, Bhargava KB. Pseudocyst of the auricle: a new method of treatment. J Laryngol Otol 1996; 110:767-769.
[Google Scholar]
Juan KH. Pseudocyst of the auricle: steroid therapy. Auris Nasus Larynx 1994; 21:8-12.
[Google Scholar]
Ophir D, Marshak G. Needle aspiration and pressure sutures for auricular pseudocyst. Plast Reconotr Surg 1991; 87:783-784.
[Google Scholar]
Hoffman TJ, richardson TF, Jacobs RJ, Torres A. Pseudocyst of the auricle. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1993; 19:259-262.
[Google Scholar]
Job A, Raman R. Medical management of pseudocyst of the auricle. J Laryngol Otol 1992; 106:159-161.
[Google Scholar]
Show Sections