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Cervical Thymic Cyst
Bernadette L. Koch, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            • Diagnostic Checklist

              TERMINOLOGY

              • Abbreviations

                • Cervical thymic cyst (CTC)
              • Synonyms

                • Thymopharyngeal duct cyst; congenital thymic cyst
              • Definitions

                • Cystic remnant of thymopharyngeal duct
                  • Derivative of 3rd pharyngeal pouch
                • Hassall corpuscles in cyst wall confirm diagnosis

              IMAGING

              • General Features

                • CT Findings

                  • MR Findings

                    • Ultrasonographic Findings

                      • Imaging Recommendations

                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                          PATHOLOGY

                          • General Features

                            • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                              • Microscopic Features

                                CLINICAL ISSUES

                                • Presentation

                                  • Demographics

                                    • Natural History & Prognosis

                                      • Treatment

                                        DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                        • Consider

                                          • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                            Selected References

                                            1. Prosser JD et al: Branchial cleft anomalies and thymic cysts. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 48(1):1-14, 2015
                                            2. Goff CJ et al: Current management of congenital branchial cleft cysts, sinuses, and fistulae. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 20(6):533-9, 2012
                                            3. Pahlavan S et al: Microbiology of third and fourth branchial pouch cysts. Laryngoscope. 120(3):458-62, 2010
                                            4. Thomas B et al: Revisiting imaging features and the embryologic basis of third and fourth branchial anomalies. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 31(4):755-60, 2010
                                            5. Sturm-O'Brien AK et al: Cervical thymic anomalies--the Texas Children's Hospital experience. Laryngoscope. 119(10):1988-93, 2009
                                            6. Statham MM et al: Cervical thymic remnants in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 72(12):1807-13, 2008
                                            7. Mehrzad H et al: A combined third and fourth branchial arch anomaly: clinical and embryological implications. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 264(8):913-6, 2007
                                            8. Charous DD et al: A third branchial pouch cyst presenting as a lateral neck mass in an adult. Ear Nose Throat J. 85(11):754-7, 2006
                                            9. Koch BL: Cystic malformations of the neck in children. Pediatr Radiol. 35(5):463-77, 2005
                                            10. Khariwala SS et al: Cervical presentations of thymic anomalies in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(7):909-14, 2004
                                            11. Pereira KD et al: Management of anomalies of the third and fourth branchial pouches. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(1):43-50, 2004
                                            12. Liberman M et al: Ten years of experience with third and fourth branchial remnants. J Pediatr Surg. 37(5):685-90, 2002
                                            13. Ozturk H et al: Multilocular cervical thymic cyst: an unusual neck mass in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 61(3): 249-52, 2001
                                            14. Koeller KK et al: Congenital cystic masses of the neck: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 19(1): 121-46; quiz 152-3, 1999
                                            15. Millman B et al: Cervical thymic anomalies. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 47(1): 29-39, 1999
                                            16. Hendrickson M et al: Congenital thymic cysts in children--mostly misdiagnosed. J Pediatr Surg. 33(6): 821-5, 1998
                                            17. Hadi U et al: Valsalva-induced cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 117(6): S70-2, 1997
                                            18. Marra S et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(2): 338-40, 1995
                                            19. Miller MB et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(4): 586-8, 1995
                                            20. Benson MT et al: Congenital anomalies of the branchial apparatus: embryology and pathologic anatomy. Radiographics. 12(5):943-60, 1992
                                            Related Anatomy
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                                            Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                            References
                                            Tables

                                            Tables

                                            KEY FACTS

                                            • Terminology

                                              • Imaging

                                                • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                  • Pathology

                                                    • Clinical Issues

                                                      • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                        TERMINOLOGY

                                                        • Abbreviations

                                                          • Cervical thymic cyst (CTC)
                                                        • Synonyms

                                                          • Thymopharyngeal duct cyst; congenital thymic cyst
                                                        • Definitions

                                                          • Cystic remnant of thymopharyngeal duct
                                                            • Derivative of 3rd pharyngeal pouch
                                                          • Hassall corpuscles in cyst wall confirm diagnosis

                                                        IMAGING

                                                        • General Features

                                                          • CT Findings

                                                            • MR Findings

                                                              • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                                • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                  DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                    PATHOLOGY

                                                                    • General Features

                                                                      • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                        • Microscopic Features

                                                                          CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                          • Presentation

                                                                            • Demographics

                                                                              • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                • Treatment

                                                                                  DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                  • Consider

                                                                                    • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                      Selected References

                                                                                      1. Prosser JD et al: Branchial cleft anomalies and thymic cysts. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 48(1):1-14, 2015
                                                                                      2. Goff CJ et al: Current management of congenital branchial cleft cysts, sinuses, and fistulae. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 20(6):533-9, 2012
                                                                                      3. Pahlavan S et al: Microbiology of third and fourth branchial pouch cysts. Laryngoscope. 120(3):458-62, 2010
                                                                                      4. Thomas B et al: Revisiting imaging features and the embryologic basis of third and fourth branchial anomalies. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 31(4):755-60, 2010
                                                                                      5. Sturm-O'Brien AK et al: Cervical thymic anomalies--the Texas Children's Hospital experience. Laryngoscope. 119(10):1988-93, 2009
                                                                                      6. Statham MM et al: Cervical thymic remnants in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 72(12):1807-13, 2008
                                                                                      7. Mehrzad H et al: A combined third and fourth branchial arch anomaly: clinical and embryological implications. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 264(8):913-6, 2007
                                                                                      8. Charous DD et al: A third branchial pouch cyst presenting as a lateral neck mass in an adult. Ear Nose Throat J. 85(11):754-7, 2006
                                                                                      9. Koch BL: Cystic malformations of the neck in children. Pediatr Radiol. 35(5):463-77, 2005
                                                                                      10. Khariwala SS et al: Cervical presentations of thymic anomalies in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(7):909-14, 2004
                                                                                      11. Pereira KD et al: Management of anomalies of the third and fourth branchial pouches. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(1):43-50, 2004
                                                                                      12. Liberman M et al: Ten years of experience with third and fourth branchial remnants. J Pediatr Surg. 37(5):685-90, 2002
                                                                                      13. Ozturk H et al: Multilocular cervical thymic cyst: an unusual neck mass in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 61(3): 249-52, 2001
                                                                                      14. Koeller KK et al: Congenital cystic masses of the neck: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 19(1): 121-46; quiz 152-3, 1999
                                                                                      15. Millman B et al: Cervical thymic anomalies. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 47(1): 29-39, 1999
                                                                                      16. Hendrickson M et al: Congenital thymic cysts in children--mostly misdiagnosed. J Pediatr Surg. 33(6): 821-5, 1998
                                                                                      17. Hadi U et al: Valsalva-induced cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 117(6): S70-2, 1997
                                                                                      18. Marra S et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(2): 338-40, 1995
                                                                                      19. Miller MB et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(4): 586-8, 1995
                                                                                      20. Benson MT et al: Congenital anomalies of the branchial apparatus: embryology and pathologic anatomy. Radiographics. 12(5):943-60, 1992