Objectives: To evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of ethanol ablation (EA) for the treatment of thyroglossal duct cysts (TGDCs).
Methods: This retrospective study included 81 consecutive patients diagnosed with and treated for symptomatic TGDCs at two institutions between Jan 2008 and Oct 2018. Preprocedural evaluation included US assessment with calculation of the TGDC volume. EA was performed under US guidance using 99% ethanol. Post-treatment follow-up was scheduled within 3 months, 6 months, and then annually. Immediate success was defined as a volume reduction ratio (VRR; ratio of the volume difference after EA to the initial TGDC volume) > 50% within 3 months. Long-term success was defined as VRR > 50% or resolution or improvement of cosmetic problems and symptoms without recurrence at last follow-up.
Results: Seventy-seven patients underwent EA, and outcomes were assessed in 68 patients with available follow-up data. The immediate success rate of the first EA was 81% (55/68), with a mean VRR within 3 months of 73% ± 31%. One patient (1.5%, 1/68) developed wound inflammation after the first EA. Forty-two patients were followed up for longer than 2 years. For the median follow-up of 69 months (range, 24-131 months), the long-term success rate was 83% (35/42), with a mean VRR at last follow-up of 81% ± 35%. No patients developed malignancy from the ablated TGDCs.
Conclusions: EA for treatment of TGDCs achieved acceptable rates of immediate and long-term efficacy with a low complication rate, and can be considered as a first-line treatment for the management of TGDCs.
Key points: • The immediate success rate of EA for the treatment of TGDCs was 81% (55/68), with a mean VRR within 3 months of 73% ± 31%. • For the median follow-up of 69 months (range, 24-131 months), the long-term success rate was 83% (35/42), with a mean VRR at last follow-up of 81% ± 35%. • No patients developed malignancy from the ablated TGDCs but one patient (1.5%, 1/68) developed wound inflammation after the first EA.
Keywords: Ethanol; Intralesional injections; Thyroglossal cyst.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to European Society of Radiology.