Breath-holding-like spells in an infant: an unusual presentation of lingual thyroglossal duct cyst

J Pediatr Surg. 2000 Sep;35(9):1381-4. doi: 10.1053/jpsu.2000.9345.


The authors report the case of an infant with a lingual thyroglossal duct cyst who presented with breath-holding-like spells, which actually represented life-threatening ball-valve obstruction of the larynx, leading to hypoxemia and transient cerebral dysfunction. When evaluating apparent breath-holding spells in young infants, physicians should include dynamic, episodic upper airway obstruction in the differential diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / complications
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Apnea / diagnosis
  • Apnea / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / complications*
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / congenital*
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / diagnosis
  • Tongue Diseases / complications*
  • Tongue Diseases / diagnosis