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Clinical Note
September 2007

Degenerative Thyroid Cartilage Cysts as a Cause of HoarsenessReport of 2 Cases

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2007 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2007

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007;133(9):936-938. doi:10.1001/archotol.133.9.936

Cysts located in the thyroid cartilage proper are rare. A literature review identified only 4 cases.1-4 Three of the cysts were lined by respiratory epithelium2-4 and were thought to be the result of mucosal herniation through a congenital foramen. Burgess and Yim1 reported a case of a true degenerative thyroid cartilage cyst. We describe 2 patients with degenerative thyroid cartilage cysts who presented with hoarseness and a history of neck trauma. In both cases, findings of an endoscopic biopsy were consistent with benign degenerative cartilage. We compare our surgical management in these cases—an open neck exploration with extirpation of the cyst in the first case, and an endoscopic marsupialization of the cyst in the second case—and discuss why we would favor the latter approach in a future case. We also briefly discuss the potential pathogenesis of these degenerative cysts.

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