Thyroglossal duct cyst in adult Nigerians: A report of two cases

  • Daniel Aliyu
  • Baba S Amutta
  • Mohammed Abdullahi
  • Caleb Manya
  • Joseph Solomon
  • Kabiru Abdullah


Thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC) is the most common paediatric midline neck lesion. It is rare in the adult population. Metaplastic change is mostly associated with the adult variant. We report the first ever cases of thyroglossal duct cyst in the adult as seen in our region, with a review of literature.

Case Report 1.A 42-year old man, presented with a painless anterior neck swelling of more than3months’ duration. Neck examination revealed a midline 4cm x 6cm cyst below the hyoid bone, which moved on deglutition and on protrusion of the tongue. Thyroid function test was within normal values. Histology of the excised cyst (Sistrunk’s operation) confirmed thyroglossal cyst.

Case Report 2. A 20-year old female student presented with a midline neck swelling of 5years’ duration. Examination showed a 3cm x 4cm cystic non-tender midline anterior neck mass that moved on deglutition and on tongue protrusion. Thyroid function test showed a slight elevation in levels of T3 and T4. A neck ultrasound scan revealed an oval hypoechoic mass on the left thyroid cartilage of the larynx. She had a modified Sistrunk’s operation and histology confirmed the diagnosis of thyroglossal cyst.

Conclusion: Thyroglossal duct cyst commonly presents as a midline anterior neck asymptomatic swelling. Its tendency to undergo malignant degeneration in adults emphasizes the importance of meticulous clinical, radiological and histological evaluation.


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eISSN: 1115-0521