Thyroglossal Duct Cyst

About Thyroglossal Duct Cyst in children

In the fetus, the thyroid gland forms at the bottom of the tongue. Early in fetal life it then “migrates” or moves from the bottom of the tongue downward to the base of the neck.

Sometimes as the thyroid migrates, it drags some of the lining of the pharynx. A cyst may form at the base of the thyroid along the route of migration (see illustration). A thyroglossal duct cyst is then produced. Thyroglossal image - figure 1

The main risk of a thyroglossal duct cyst is infection. Bacteria from the mouth may cause the cyst to become infected. A thyroglossal cyst usually appears between ages 2 – 10. It is found equally in both girls and boys.