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Branchial cleft cyst or sinus in Adult
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Branchial cleft cyst or sinus in Adult

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Contributors: Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Branchial cleft cyst or sinus is a rare disorder resulting from incomplete closure of the branchial clefts. The second branchial cleft is implicated much more so than the third cleft. This typically occurs at 4-8 weeks of embryologic growth. Cysts, sinuses, or fistulae can present at birth at the inferior neck. At times these small cysts or skin tag-like remnants contain cartilage. Autosomal dominant inheritance has been reported.

Sometimes a branchial cleft cyst or sinus is not recognized until later in childhood, when it becomes infected. Rarely, it may go unnoticed until it becomes infected in adulthood.

For more information, see OMIM.

Codes

ICD10CM:
Q18.0 – Sinus, fistula and cyst of branchial cleft

SNOMEDCT:
59857007 – Branchial cleft cyst

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Thyroglossal duct cyst – Midline cystic lesion, often near the hyoid bone, often with a draining sinus.
  • Pilomatricoma (calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe)
  • A malignancy must be considered in a new-onset neck mass in an adult, especially when associated with enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Midline anterior neck inclusion cyst (MANIC) – A type of superficial midline developmental anomaly

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Updated: 08/30/2018
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Branchial cleft cyst or sinus in Adult
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Branchial cleft cyst or sinus : Anterior neck, Cyst, Smooth nodule, Neck mass
Clinical image of Branchial cleft cyst or sinus
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