Quick Review for Patients






Note: click on underlined words for more detail or photos.

Ectopic or heterotopic gastric mucosa has been found all up and down the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, small intestines, pancreas, gallbladder, and Meckel's diverticulum. There have, moreover, been several reported cases of heterotopic gastric cyst or heterotopic intestinal cyst of the tongue or oral floor.

Top of This Page

Clinical Features

These cystic choristomas are either embedded deeply in the tongue or present as superficial, movable nodules of the lingual dorsum or oral floor. Some have communication with the surface.

Top of This Page

Pathology and Differential Diagnosis

The cyst wall is usually composed of routine gastric mucosa of the type seen in the body and fundus of the stomach.  Ciliated columnar epithelium and stratified squamous epithelium may be admixed with the gastric mucosa, and a muscularis mucosae may be present. Both parietal and chief cells may be found, and pancreatic tissue was noted in one cyst.

Top of This Page

Treatment and Prognosis

The heterotopic gastrointestinal cyst of the mouth is treated by conservative excision.  Recurrence has not been reported, nor has malignant transformation. This cyst is not associated with any known syndrome.

Top of This Page

References (Chronologic Order)

Note: General references can be found by clicking on that topic to the left.

Daley TD, Wysocki GP, Lovas JL, Smouth MS. Heterotopic gastric cyst of the oral cavity. Head Neck Surg 1984; 7:168-171.

Lipsett J, Sparnon AL, Byard RW. Embryogenesis of enterocystomas - enteric duplication cysts of the tongue. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1993; 75:626-630.

Ohbayashi Y, Miyake M, Nagahata S. Gastrointestinal cyst of the tongue - a possible duplication cyst of foregut origin. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1997; 55:626-628.

Top of This Page


Note: To see enlarged photo, click on the left-hand picture; 
return here with your BACK ARROW button.