HemeOnc

Branchial Cleft Cyst

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Branchial Cleft Cyst, Branchial Cleft Sinus, Branchial Cleft, Branchial Cyst, Branchial Sinus, Congenital Branchial Cleft Cyst

  • Pathophysiology
  1. Congenital remnant of Branchial Cleft
  2. Branchial Clefts embyogenesis
    1. Composed of 5 paired arches in lateral foregut wall
    2. Arches are separated by clefts
    3. Clefts usually obliterated with development
  • Types
  1. First Branchial Cleft
    1. Associations
      1. External auditory canal
      2. Parotid Gland
  2. Second Branchial Cleft
    1. Associations
      1. Superior pole of Tonsil
    2. Location
      1. Anterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle
    3. Course
      1. Between internal and external carotid arteries
      2. Opens into Tonsillar fossa
  3. Third Branchial Cleft
    1. Associations
      1. Pyriform Sinus
    2. Location
      1. Anterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle
    3. Course
      1. Posterior to common Carotid Artery
      2. Opens in Pyriform sinus
  • Signs
  1. Lateral Neck Mass in distribution as above
    1. Most common at anterior border of sternocleidomastoid
    2. Sinus communicates fully between skin and airway
  2. May present with infection
  • Complications
  1. Secondary infection with neck abscess
  2. Branchial Cleft Cyst wall carcinoma (rare)
  • Radiology
  1. CT Neck
  2. Fistulogram
  • Management
  1. Surgical Excision of cyst and sinus tract