THE OCCURRENCE of three lateral cysts of the neck apparently arising from parathyroid tissue led us to review the literature on this subject. While microscopic cystic areas in the parathyroid are common1 and small macroscopic cysts discovered at autopsy are occasional,2 large cysts presenting as swellings in the side of the neck are rare. Only eight such cases were found in the literature,3 although others have alluded to instances of large parathyroid cysts. Lahey4 states: "We have operated upon a few patients for local tumors of the neck in whom the diagnosis was not certain but in whom the pathological report following removal has been a cyst arising in a non-hyperfunctioning parathyroid adenoma."
As the parathyroids arise from the branchial clefts, it is perhaps unwarranted to separate lateral cervical cysts with parathyroid tissue in their walls from other cysts of branchial origin. The distinguishing features seem
MAXWELL DB, HORN RC, RHOADS JE. CYSTS OF THE PARATHYROIDReport of Three Cases Clinically Simulating Nodular Goiter. AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(2):208-213. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010220011