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  • Kevin M. Rice, MD

Thyroglossal duct cyst

Palpable midline neck mass • Xray of the Week

Thyroglossal duct cyst MRI and Ultrasound

Fig 1. A. The cyst is hypointense on T1 weighted axial image. B. T2 weighted axial image shows smooth hyperintense midline nodule, anterior to the trachea. C. The ultrasound image shows an anechoic midline cyst. D. The color Doppler confirms that it is not a vascular structure.

Fig 2. The cyst is hyperintense on T2 weighted coronal image.

Fig 3. The cyst is hypointense on T1 weighted sagittal image.


Thyroglossal duct cysts present as a midline painless neck lump. Rarely they can become infected. Large cysts may cause symptoms such as dyspnea, dysphagia, or dyspepsia. A thyroglossal duct cyst can develop anywhere along the embryonic course of the thyroglossal duct. Thyroglossal duct carcinoma occurs rarely, in less than 2% of cases. Treatment of a symptomatic or infected cyst is surgical excision.

Kevin M. Rice, MD

Kevin M. Rice, MD is the president of Global Radiology CME

Dr. Rice serves as the Chair of the Radiology Department of Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles, California and is a radiologist with Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates. Dr. Rice has made several media appearances and as part of his ongoing commitment to public education. Dr. Rice's passion for state of the art radiology and teaching includes acting as a guest lecturer at UCLA. In 2015 Dr. Rice founded Global Radiology CME to provide innovative radiology education at exciting international destinations, with the world's foremost authorities in their field.

Follow Dr. Rice on Twitter @KevinRiceMD

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