Vogel et al classified the causes for true macroglossia. The authors are from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard Medical School.

True macroglossia may be either:

(1) congenital (which includes macroglossia secondary to a genetic disorder, malformation,  or tissue heterotopia; may or may not be clinically evident at birth)

(2) acquired


Causes of true macroglossia:

(1) vascular malformation (affecting lymphatics, veins or capillaries)

(1a) capillary hemangioma

(1b) lymphangioma

(1c) lymphangiohemangioma

(1d) venous malformations

(2) muscular hypertrophy and/or hyperplasia

(2a) hemihypertrophy

(2b) Beckwith-Wiedermann syndrome (with exophthalmos and gigantism)

(3) infiltration secondary to a inherited metabolic disorder

(3a) mucopolysaccharidosis

(4) acquired systemic disorder

(4a) amyloidosis

(4b) acromegaly (gigantism) with generalized hypertrophy of intrinsic elements

(4c) hematoma secondary to a systemic bleeding disorder

(4d) infection (syphilitic gumma, abscess, tuberculoma)

(5) local reactive change (usually transient)

(5a) edema

(5b) vascular congestion

(5c) thermal or chemical burn

(5d) traumatic

(5e) allergic/hypersensitivity response

(5f) perioperative (congestion due to position, trauma from intra-oral tubing)

(6) cysts and benign tumors

(6a) dermoid cyst

(6c) lingual cyst

(6c) rhabdomyoma

(7) malignant tumors

(7a) squamous cell carcinoma

(7b) malignant lymphoma

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.