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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2013, Article ID 350502, 4 pages
Case Report

Cervical Thymic Cyst: A Rare Differential Diagnosis in Lateral Neck Swelling

1Department of ENT-Head and Neck Surgery, Kasturba Medical College-Mangalore, Manipal University, Mangalore, Karnataka 576 104, India
2Department of Otolaryngology, Kasturba Medical College Hospital, Manipal University, Attavar, Mangalore, Karnataka 575 001, India
3Department of Radiodiagnosis & Imaging, Kasturba Medical College-Mangalore, Manipal University, Mangalore, Karnataka 576 104, India

Received 20 December 2012; Accepted 7 January 2013

Academic Editors: A. Casani, K. Tae, and H.-W. Wang

Copyright © 2013 Vijendra Shenoy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Thymic cysts are among the rarest cysts found in the neck. Nests of thymic tissue may be found anywhere along the descent of the thymic primordia from the angle of the mandible to the mediastinum. Mediastinal extension is seen in 50% of cervical thymic cysts. Case Report. We report an uncommon case of a 15-year-old male, who noted a painless, growing mass on left side of his neck of one-year duration. Computerised tomographic scan showed a multiloculated fluid density lesion with enhancing septae in the left parapharyngeal space, extending from the level of mandible up to C7 vertebral level. Here, we discuss the surgical aspect, histopathology, and management of this rare lateral neck swelling. Discussion. Clinically, in most cases, cervical thymic lesions present as a unilateral asymptomatic neck mass, commonly on the left side of the neck, and 75% of patients present before 20 years of age. Conclusion. Thymic cyst should be included as differential diagnosis of cystic neck masses. Greater awareness among the pathologists may decrease misdiagnosis.