Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) >
Thyroglossal Cyst

“Fibrous cyst in the neck that arises from a persistent thyroglossal duct”

Risk Factors
  • Not typically associated with any additional congenital abnormalities
Aetiology
  • Congenital abnormality
Pathophysiology
  • Persistence of part of the thyroglossal duct (an embryological remnant of thyroid gland development, should completely disappear) provides a reservoir for the collection of fluid/mucus and can lead to the development of a cyst.
Clinical Presentation
  • Cysts are usually found in the midline of the neck
  • They are usually small, mobile, soft, non-tender and fluctuant
  • They move up and down with the movement of the tongue
  • The patient may also experience difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • This cyst is present from birth but is usually not diagnosed until childhood
Investigations
  • TFTs to check thyroid function
  • CT / USS +/- fine needle aspiration can be used to confirm the diagnosis
Management
  • Surgical resection (commonly the Sistrunk procedure)
  • +/- antibiotics
Complications
  • Infection, thyroglossal fistula, thyroglossal duct carcinoma (rare)
  • Cysts can reoccur if any of the thyroglossal duct remains after surgery

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