Endoscopic management of intralingual thyroglossal duct cysts: Case series and systematic review

Auris Nasus Larynx. 2023 Feb;50(1):119-125. doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2022.05.014. Epub 2022 Jun 2.


Objective: To discuss our institutional experience with endoscopic management of intralingual thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC) and review cases in the published literature in a systematic review.

Methods: Pediatric patients with intralingual TGDC treated with endoscopic surgery at our institution from 2009-2019 were identified. Metrics from our case series were then compared to those in the literature in a systematic review to assess pooled outcomes of endoscopic or transoral management. Patient demographics, age of presentation, presenting symptomatology, size of cyst on imaging, type of surgery, and post-operative outcomes were assessed.

Results: We identified 5 institutional cases of intralingual TGDC and 48 cases of intralingual TGDC described in the literature. The average age of presentation was 20.36 months. 69.8% (N=37) of patients presented with at least one respiratory symptom, 22.6% (N=12) presented with dysphagia, 9.4% (N=5) presented with an identified mass in the oropharynx, and 15.1% (N=8) had the cyst discovered as an incidental finding. Three patients required revision surgeries due to prior incomplete TGDC excisions and one patient experienced a recurrence >6 months after primary excision requiring a second procedure. Our data pooled with published case series in systematic review confirms that endoscopic or transoral management are excellent options for definitive management of intralingual TGDC.

Conclusions: Intralingual TDGC is a potentially life-threatening variant of TGDC. Our results pooled with published series in a systematic review suggest that endoscopic or transoral management of intralingual TGDC are excellent minimally invasive treatments with a low risk of recurrence. Postoperative surveillance up to one year is recommended.

Keywords: Endoscopic surgery; Intralingual thyroglossal duct cyst; Lingual thyroglossal duct cyst; Thyroglossal duct cyst.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Deglutition Disorders* / surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Reoperation
  • Thyroglossal Cyst* / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroglossal Cyst* / surgery