Preliminary Diagnosis: Thyroglossal duct cyst

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis

  • CT soft tissue neck with IV contrast.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of thyroglossal duct cyst.

Advantages
  • Relatively inexpensive, fast imaging modality.

  • Highly specific and sensitive for detecting and diagnosing a thyroglossal duct cyst.

  • Can track the entire course of the thyroglossal duct cyst.

Disadvantages
  • Exposes a patient to ionizing radiation.

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

  • May be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

  • MR of the neck with IV contrast

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of thyroglossal duct cyst.

MR of the neck with IV contrast
Advantages
  • May help fine tune a differential diagnosis.

Disadvantages
  • Expensive

  • Time-consuming

  • May be subject to dental hardware and motion artifact.

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

MR of the neck with IV contrast
  • Contraindicated in patients with non-MR compatible hardware.