Teratomas are tumors composed of tissues derived from the three germinal layers (endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm) that can be located in the gonads (ovaries/testes) or extragonadal.
In men, the teratomas that originate occur in the testicle, and in women, in the ovaries. Extragonadal teratomas are usually located in the midline of the body. They can be in the brain, nose, tongue and neck, among other places.
Teratoma is the most common neonatal tumor (about 25% of all tumors that occur in the newborn) and is the most common germ cell tumor in children.
They are most common in females with a male/female ratio of 3:1. They are mostly located in the sacrococcygeal region. Traper D and Lack EE (1983) reported in the series of 128 perinatal teratomas that sacrococcygeal teratomas represented 79.7%, neck teratomas 4.7%, face teratomas 3.1% and orbital teratomas 1.6%.
The clinical presentation of head and neck teratomas varies according to the anatomical site where they are located and can be diagnosed in the prenatal period, by ultrasound vision, or postnatal.
Almost all germ cell tumors found in the fetus and neonate are histologically benign and diagnosed as mature or immature teratomas.
Benign teratomas generally do not produce major problems unless, due to their size or speed of growth, they exert an obstructive effect or pressure on neighbouring organs -torsion in the case of testicles or ovaries-, or they bleed when they have abundant circulation.
The treatment consists of completely removing the tumour with surgery. However, in some rare cases, it may reappear in the same organ or in other neighbors.