J Korean Assoc Pediatr Surg.  2011 Jun;17(1):35-44.

Risk Factors Affecting Recurrence of Thyroglossal Duct Cyst in Children

  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, Korea. kpnugs@yahoo.co.kr


Thyroglossal duct cysts (TGDC) are the most common type of congenital developmental anomaly encountered in the anterior midline of the neck in childhood. The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics of TGDC and identify any factors that could be related to recurrence after surgery. This study consisted of a retrospective chart review of 45 patients treated at Kyungpook National University Hospital for TGDC between 1990 and 2008. All records were reviewed for age and sex, length of history, presentation, diagnostic methods, sizes and locations of cyst, surgical management, histopathology of the lesion and recurrences. The statistical analysis of risk factors for recurrence was made using the Fisher's exact test with a significance level of p < 0.05. The male to female ratio was 2.2:1 with a male preponderance. The mean age at operation was 5 years and 2 months (4 months - 17 years). The most common presenting symptom was a nontender cervical mass (78%). Most TGDC were found in the midline position. Twenty four were infrahyoid, 17 were hyoid, and 4 were suprahyoid level. Forty one (91%) patients received the Sistrunk operation, and 4(9%) patients received cyst excision. Postoperative a seroma developed in six patients in the early postoperative days. There were a total of 3(6.6%) recurrences, 2 in patients who had excision only and in one patient who had the Sistrunk operation. Univariate analysis for risk factors with recurrence showed that there was no statistical relationship between the presence of preoperative infection and the development of recurrence. The removal of hyoid bone along with TGDC was a statistically significant risk factor for recurrent disease. This study suggests that the Sistrunk operation is the treatment of choice for TGDC in order to reduce recurrence.


Thyroglossal duct cyst; Recurrence; Children

MeSH Terms

Hyoid Bone
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Thyroglossal Cyst
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