August 6, 2010

Thyroglossal Duct Cyst

Sagittal CT image of the neck shows a cystic mass (arrow) in the midline anterior to the hyoid bone (arrowhead) in a young male patient.

  • Cystic lesion in the midline of the anterior neck near the hyoid bone
  • Common, accounted for 70% of all congenital neck mass
  • Usually is mobile, midline or slightly off midline
  • Can be anywhere along the route from foramen cecum to the lower neck (a path the thyroid gland descends to reach the anterior trachea). But most are below the level of hyoid bone
  • Treatment involves removal of the entire duct, part of the hyoid bone and tissue at the base of tongue
Differential Diagnosis
  • Dermoid cyst
  • Liquefied submental or anterior cervical lymph node
Seibert J, James C. Pediatric Radiology Casebase, 1997.

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