Current management of congenital branchial cleft cysts, sinuses, and fistulae.Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Dec; 20(6):533-9.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Branchial anomalies comprise approximately 20% of pediatric congenital head and neck lesions. This study reviews current literature detailing the diagnosis and management of first, second, third and fourth branchial cysts, sinuses and fistulae.
Branchial anomalies remain classified as first, second, third and fourth cysts, sinuses and fistulae. Management varies on the basis of classification. The imaging study of choice remains controversial. Computed tomography fistulography likely best demonstrates the complete course of the tract if a cutaneous opening is present. Treatment of all lesions has historically been by complete surgical excision of the entire tract. Studies of less invasive procedures for several anomalies are promising including sclerotherapy and endoscopic excision of second branchial cysts, and endoscopic cauterization or sclerotherapy at the piriform opening for third and fourth branchial sinuses. An increased risk of complications in children less than 8 years is reported in children undergoing open excision of third and fourth branchial anomalies.
Branchial anomalies are common congenital pediatric head and neck lesions but are comprised by several diverse anomalies. Treatment must be tailored depending on which branchial arch is involved and whether a cyst mass or sinus/fistula tract is present.