Congenital cervical cysts are frequently encountered in pediatric populations, and constitute one of the most intriguing areas of pediatric pathology. This report analyzes cervical cysts in Taiwanese children diagnosed at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) over the past 20 years. The pathologic and clinical findings are reviewed.
Files on 331 patients under the age of 18 years, with a diagnosis of congenital cervical cyst at CGMH from January 1, 1983 to June 30, 2002, were retrieved from the Department of Pathology. There were 204 boys and 127 girls. We reviewed the histology of all cases and correlated it with clinical information in the medical records.
Thyroglossal duct cysts, the most common congenital neck cyst, accounted for 54.68% of all cases, followed by cystic hygromas (25.08%), branchial cleft cysts (16.31%), bronchogenic cysts (0.91%), and thymic cysts (0.30%). Nine cases (2.72%) remained unclassified.
This is the largest series regarding pediatric cervical cysts in the literature to date. Thyroglossal duct cysts were the most common congenital cervical cyst encountered. Our experience indicates that each type of cyst has its unique location in the neck and is highly associated with its embryonic origin. Complete and precise clinical information is a prerequisite in order for pathologists to make accurate diagnoses of congenital cervical cysts.