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Cervical Thymic Cyst
Bernadette L. Koch, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          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. 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
                                        2. Bajaj Y et al: Branchial anomalies in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 75(8):1020-3, 2011
                                        3. Sturm-O'Brien AK et al: Cervical thymic anomalies--the Texas Children's Hospital experience. Laryngoscope. 119(10):1988-93, 2009
                                        4. Statham MM et al: Cervical thymic remnants in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 72(12):1807-13, 2008
                                        5. Mehrzad H et al: A combined third and fourth branchial arch anomaly: clinical and embryological implications. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 264(8):913-6, 2007
                                        6. 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
                                        7. Koch BL: Cystic malformations of the neck in children. Pediatr Radiol. 35(5):463-77, 2005
                                        8. Khariwala SS et al: Cervical presentations of thymic anomalies in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(7):909-14, 2004
                                        9. Pereira KD et al: Management of anomalies of the third and fourth branchial pouches. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(1):43-50, 2004
                                        10. Liberman M et al: Ten years of experience with third and fourth branchial remnants. J Pediatr Surg. 37(5):685-90, 2002
                                        11. Ozturk H et al: Multilocular cervical thymic cyst: an unusual neck mass in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 61(3): 249-52, 2001
                                        12. Billings KR et al: Infected neonatal cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 123(5): 651-4, 2000
                                        13. Koeller KK et al: Congenital cystic masses of the neck: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 19(1): 121-46; quiz 152-3, 1999
                                        14. Millman B et al: Cervical thymic anomalies. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 47(1): 29-39, 1999
                                        15. Hendrickson M et al: Congenital thymic cysts in children--mostly misdiagnosed. J Pediatr Surg. 33(6): 821-5, 1998
                                        16. Hadi U et al: Valsalva-induced cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 117(6): S70-2, 1997
                                        17. Kelley DJ et al: Cervicomediastinal thymic cysts. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 39(2):139-46, 1997
                                        18. Nguyen Q et al: Cervical thymic cyst: case reports and review of the literature. Laryngoscope. 106(3 Pt 1):247-52, 1996
                                        19. Burton EM et al: Cervical thymic cysts: CT appearance of two cases including a persistent thymopharyngeal duct cyst. Pediatr Radiol. 25(5): 363-5, 1995
                                        20. Marra S et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(2): 338-40, 1995
                                        21. Miller MB et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(4): 586-8, 1995
                                        22. Benson MT et al: Congenital anomalies of the branchial apparatus: embryology and pathologic anatomy. Radiographics. 12(5):943-60, 1992
                                        23. Zarbo RJ et al: Thymopharyngeal duct cyst: a form of cervical thymus. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 92(3 Pt 1):284-9, 1983
                                        24. Guba AM Jr et al: Cervical presentation of thymic cysts. Am J Surg. 136(4):430-6, 1978
                                        25. Tovi F et al: The aberrant cervical thymus. Embryology, Pathology, and clinical implications. Am J Surg. 136(5):631-7, 1978
                                        Related Anatomy
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                                        Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                        References
                                        Tables

                                        Tables

                                        KEY FACTS

                                        • Terminology

                                          • Imaging

                                            • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                              • Pathology

                                                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. 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
                                                                              2. Bajaj Y et al: Branchial anomalies in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 75(8):1020-3, 2011
                                                                              3. Sturm-O'Brien AK et al: Cervical thymic anomalies--the Texas Children's Hospital experience. Laryngoscope. 119(10):1988-93, 2009
                                                                              4. Statham MM et al: Cervical thymic remnants in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 72(12):1807-13, 2008
                                                                              5. Mehrzad H et al: A combined third and fourth branchial arch anomaly: clinical and embryological implications. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 264(8):913-6, 2007
                                                                              6. 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
                                                                              7. Koch BL: Cystic malformations of the neck in children. Pediatr Radiol. 35(5):463-77, 2005
                                                                              8. Khariwala SS et al: Cervical presentations of thymic anomalies in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(7):909-14, 2004
                                                                              9. Pereira KD et al: Management of anomalies of the third and fourth branchial pouches. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 68(1):43-50, 2004
                                                                              10. Liberman M et al: Ten years of experience with third and fourth branchial remnants. J Pediatr Surg. 37(5):685-90, 2002
                                                                              11. Ozturk H et al: Multilocular cervical thymic cyst: an unusual neck mass in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 61(3): 249-52, 2001
                                                                              12. Billings KR et al: Infected neonatal cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 123(5): 651-4, 2000
                                                                              13. Koeller KK et al: Congenital cystic masses of the neck: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 19(1): 121-46; quiz 152-3, 1999
                                                                              14. Millman B et al: Cervical thymic anomalies. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 47(1): 29-39, 1999
                                                                              15. Hendrickson M et al: Congenital thymic cysts in children--mostly misdiagnosed. J Pediatr Surg. 33(6): 821-5, 1998
                                                                              16. Hadi U et al: Valsalva-induced cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 117(6): S70-2, 1997
                                                                              17. Kelley DJ et al: Cervicomediastinal thymic cysts. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 39(2):139-46, 1997
                                                                              18. Nguyen Q et al: Cervical thymic cyst: case reports and review of the literature. Laryngoscope. 106(3 Pt 1):247-52, 1996
                                                                              19. Burton EM et al: Cervical thymic cysts: CT appearance of two cases including a persistent thymopharyngeal duct cyst. Pediatr Radiol. 25(5): 363-5, 1995
                                                                              20. Marra S et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(2): 338-40, 1995
                                                                              21. Miller MB et al: Cervical thymic cyst. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 112(4): 586-8, 1995
                                                                              22. Benson MT et al: Congenital anomalies of the branchial apparatus: embryology and pathologic anatomy. Radiographics. 12(5):943-60, 1992
                                                                              23. Zarbo RJ et al: Thymopharyngeal duct cyst: a form of cervical thymus. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 92(3 Pt 1):284-9, 1983
                                                                              24. Guba AM Jr et al: Cervical presentation of thymic cysts. Am J Surg. 136(4):430-6, 1978
                                                                              25. Tovi F et al: The aberrant cervical thymus. Embryology, Pathology, and clinical implications. Am J Surg. 136(5):631-7, 1978