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Clinical Challenges
May 1998

Radioisotope Scanning of the Thyroid Gland Prior to Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Excision

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(5):597-599. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.5.597

All young children requiring thyroglossal duct (TGD) excision should undergo scanning of the thyroid gland prior to surgery.

Thyroglossal duct remnants are the most common midline neck masses in childhood, representing more than 75% of such masses. Surgical treatment with the Sistrunk operation (wide excision of the cyst, duct, central hyoid, and a core of tongue base) remains the standard of care, with a low recurrence rate and minimal morbidity.

Controversy exists over the appropriate preoperative evaluation of children with presumed TGD remnants since postoperative hypothyroidism can occur from inadvertent removal of the only functioning ectopic thyroid tissue. The options for evaluation include the following:

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