By Gary M. White, MD

Thyroglossal duct cyst
Courtesy O. Dale Collins, MD

The thyroglossal duct cyst is a cyst that has formed in a persistent thyroglossal duct.


Onset at birth, childhood or even adult life of a midline neck mass which moves with swallowing and protrusion of the tongue is characteristic. Inflammation and drainage may indicate the cyst has become infected. Connection via a sinus to the oral cavity via the foramen cecum can occur. A study of 230 patients with a suspected thyroglossal duct cyst or remnant showed that 38 had a dermoid cyst and 8 had ectopic or accessory thyroid tissue [Arch Orol Head Neck Surg 1991;117;1378].


Referral to a pediatric surgeon is appropriate.

Additional Pictures

Thyroid remnant. Courtesy O. Dale Collins, MD
Thyroid remnant


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