Pyriform sinus fistula: management with chemocauterization of the internal opening.Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2000 May; 109(5):452-6.AO
A branchial remnant originating in the pyriform sinus causes a recurrent fistula or abscess in the neck. In spite of excision, recurrence may result from inadequate removal of the fistula tract. We attempted chemocauterization of the internal opening of the fistula tract with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) on direct endoscopy. This is a 6-year review of 18 patients with pyriform sinus fistula. Medical history, barium esophagography, computed tomography scans, operative findings, and treatment results were analyzed. By direct endoscopy, all patients were found to have a fistula opening in the pyriform sinus, exclusively on the left side. In only 9 patients, the fistula tract was identified by barium esophagography before operation. Computed tomography revealed a suspicious fistula tract originating from the pyriform sinus in 8 of 10 patients. Sixteen patients were initially managed by TCA chemocauterization. There were no serious intraoperative or postoperative complications. Four patients had recurrent masses, which were managed by simple excision in 2 patients and repeated TCA cauterization in the other 2 patients with unobliterated internal openings. We recommend barium swallow study and direct endoscopy for all patients presenting with a recurrent lateral neck abscess, especially on the left side. Our results suggest that initial chemocauterization of the internal opening can be a reasonable alternative procedure for the management of pyriform sinus fistula.