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thyroglossal cyst

cyst of the thyroglossal tract

Tuesday 9 March 2004

Cyst of the thyreoglossal tract; thyroglossal tract cyst, thyreoglossal cyst

Digital case (Digital slides)

- HPC:374 : Cyst of the thyroglossal tract
- HPC:417 : Cyst of the thyroglossal tract


- most common congenital anomaly of the neck
- 2-4% of all neck masses
- most commonly present in the first decade of life but also may be seen in adults.


TGDCs are caused by a persistent epithelial tract, the thyroglossal duct, during the descent of the thyroid from the foramen cecum to its final position in the anterior neck. They also may give rise to sinuses, fistulae, or cysts.


TGDCs present in 5 different varieties.

- infrahyoid type accounts for 65% of TGDCs and is mostly found in the paramedian position
- suprahyoid type accounts for nearly 20% and is positioned in the midline
- juxtahyoid cysts make up 15% of cases
- intralingual location occurs in approximately 2% of cases
- suprasternal variety occurs in approximately 10% of cases.


- Recurrence occurs in approximately 3-5% of the cases and is increased by incomplete excision and a history of recurrent infections.

Differential diagnosis

- cervical branchial cysts

See also

- thyroglossal tract