Four cases of lateral cervical cysts in young women are presented. At least three of them proved to be the result of cystic degeneration of cervical lymph nodes containing metastatic papillary adenocarcinoma from the primary neoplasm in the thyroid gland. In each case, these cystic structures were the sole presenting sign of the disease. The significance of cystic metastases from papillary thyroid adenocarcinoma and their relationship to the primary tumor is discussed. The pathogenesis of these cystic metastases, their clinical setting, and differentiation from congenital cysts are emphasized.
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