Thyroglossal duct cysts in adults treated by ethanol sclerotherapy: A pilot study of a nonsurgical technique


  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



To investigate the effect of ethanol sclerotherapy on the thyroglossal duct cyst (TDC).

Study Design:

Prospective case series.


Patients with primary TDC were enrolled. The volume of the TDC was calculated using the following formula: length × width × height × π/6. Under sonographic guidance, ethanol was slowly instilled into the TDC cavity after the cyst fluid was aspirated. The procedure was performed in an outpatient setting.


A total of eight patients were recruited for this study, but two of them did not receive sclerotherapy. One patient refused treatment after obtaining initial consent, and another patient was not treated due to a technical issue. The median follow-up duration was 21 months. The median cyst volume was 3.5 mL. Of the six patients given sclerotherapy, recurrent TDC occurred in one patient. As expected, the TDC persisted in the two patients who had not undergone sclerotherapy. Two patients experienced moderate pain after the procedure that was well controlled with oral analgesics. No major complications arose, and no patient needed hospitalization because of treatment complications.


Percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy is an effective minimally invasive modality of therapy for TDC. Further studies with longer follow-up are warranted.