Lingual thyroglossal duct cyst causing death in a four-week-old infant

J Forensic Sci. 1984 Jan;29(1):345-8.


A 12-mm spherical thyroglossal duct cyst at the base of the tongue caused the death of a four-week-old infant by obstructing the glottis. Previous case reports of this rare entity indicate that the supine position aggravates airway obstruction. Proof of a cause and effect relationship between such a cyst and death is difficult in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) age group because of nonspecific findings associated with asphyxia and SIDS. Autopsy should include a thorough examination of the oral cavity to detect such lesions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Sudden Infant Death / diagnosis
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology*
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / complications*
  • Thyroglossal Cyst / pathology
  • Tongue / pathology