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J R Soc Med. 2000 January; 93(1): 18–21.
PMCID: PMC1288046

Investigation and treatment of thyroglossal cysts in children.


Thyroglossal cysts are the commonest midline neck masses in children. To evaluate current practice questionnaires were sent to all ear, nose and throat (ENT) and paediatric surgeons in the UK and 72% responded. The commonest investigation requested was an ultrasound scan (54%) and the commonest operation was a variant of Sistrunk's procedure (78%). Paediatric surgeons did fewer investigations than ENT surgeons and tended to excise more of the thyroglossal tract. Review of the published work suggests that ultrasound scanning and Sistrunk's procedure are the best management policy. The scan can avoid inadvertent excision of an ectopic thyroid gland. Extensive thyroglossal tract excisions give lower recurrence rates.

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