Clinical presentation and treatment outcomes of thyroglossal duct cysts: a systematic review

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Jan;44(1):119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2014.07.007. Epub 2014 Aug 15.


The aim of the present review was to analyze the main clinical signs and symptoms observed in patients with thyroglossal duct cysts (TGDCs). Secondarily we investigated the outcomes following the different types of treatment of TGDCs in children and adults. Three selected strings were run on the PubMed database to retrieve articles on these topics. A double cross-check was performed on citations and full-text articles were identified using the study inclusion and exclusion criteria. A meta-analysis was performed of the data obtained. Overall, 356 articles were identified; 24 (comprising a total of 1371 subjects) satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. On the basis of the meta-analysis, the presence of a neck cystic mass was the main clinical presentation of TGDCs, with a mean rate of 75% (95% confidence interval 72-79%). The mean local wound infection rate was 4% (95% confidence interval 3-6%), this being the most frequent complication following treatment. The mean rate of overall recurrence was 11% (95% confidence interval 9-14%). The Sistrunk procedure appears to be the better choice for the therapy of TGDCs to avoid recurrences. Further studies on larger cohorts of patients regarding the minimally invasive treatment options would be helpful to elucidate and endorse their utilization in selected cases.

Keywords: Sistrunk procedure; complications; recurrences; thyroglossal duct cysts.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome