Encyclopedia of Pathology

Living Edition
| Editors: J.H.J.M. van Krieken

Epstein’s Pearls

  • Jacqueline E. van der Wal
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28845-1_701-1



Small, developmental inclusion cysts in the newborn infants along the median palatal raphe believed to arise from epithelium entrapped along the line of fusion. Identical cysts scattered on the hard palate near the soft palate junction or on the buccal and lingual aspect of the alveolar ridge are called Bohn’s nodules and on the gingiva, gingival, or alveolar cysts/dental lamina cysts of the newborn, originating from the dental lamina.

Clinical Features


65–85% of all newborns.


Neonates, rarely after 3 months.


No gender predilection.


Small, 1–3 mm, white or yellow–white papules along the median raphe of the hard palate. Single or multiple.


Self-healing within a few weeks. The small cysts rupture spontaneously or degenerate.


Keratin-filled cysts, lined by stratified squamous epithelium, sometimes communicating with the surface (Fig. 1).
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Alves, K. M., et al. (2004). Prevalence of palatal and alveolar cysts in babies with cleft lip and palate. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 41, 490–493.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Neville, B. W., et al. (2009). Oral and maxillofacial pathology (3rd ed.pp. 26–27). St. Louis: Saunders/Elsevier.Google Scholar
  3. Richard, B. M., & Ferguson, M. W. J. (2000). Neonatal palatal cysts and their morphology in cleft lip and palate. British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 53, 555–558.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Singh, R. K., et al. (2012). Dental lamina cysts in a newborn infant. BMJ Case Reports (online publication, Oct 9).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe Netherlands Cancer Institute, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands