• Vol. 31 No. 2, 238–240
  • 15 March 2002

Unusual Endolaryngeal Extension of a Large Thyroglossal Duct Cyst



Introduction: Thyroglossal duct cysts account for approximately 70% of congenital neck abnormalities. Hoarseness of voice and the extension of the cyst into the larynx are very uncommon.

Clinical Picture: We present a patient with a long history of a large thyroglossal cyst who developed progressive hoarseness of voice. The cyst had protruded into the larynx producing the appearance of a laryngeal neoplasm. Computed tomography (CT) clearly demonstrated the nature of the cyst and its encroachment into the larynx.

Treatment: This was safely excised with a Sistrunk procedure and a temporary tracheostomy to maintain a secure airway, in view of the possibility of postoperative supraglottic oedema.

Conclusion: Endolaryngeal extension of the thyroglossal duct cyst is rare. Evaluation of unusual large midline neck masses should include a CT scan. The intralaryngeal component of the cyst can be easily dissected off from the neighbouring structures during dissection in the Sistrunk procedure. A tracheostomy may be needed.

Thyroglossal duct cysts are the most common nonodontogenic cysts that occur in the neck. They can be complicated by infections and fistulae.

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