Case series: Endoscopic management of fourth branchial arch anomalies.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 May; 77(5):766-9.IJ
Fourth branchial arch anomalies represent <1% of all branchial anomalies and present as recurrent neck infections or suppurative thyroiditis. Traditionally, management has consisted of treatment of the acute infection followed by hemithyroidectomy, surgical excision of the tract and obliteration of the opening in the pyriform fossa. Recently, it has been suggested that endoscopic obliteration of the sinus tract alone using laser, chemo or electrocautery is a viable alternative to open surgery.
To determine the results of endoscopic obliteration of fourth branchial arch fistulae in children in our institute.
Retrospective case note review of all children undergoing endoscopic treatment of fourth branchial arch anomalies in the last 7 years at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms, investigations and surgical technique were analysed. The primary and secondary outcome measures were resolution of recurrent infections and incidence of surgical complications, respectively.
In total 5 cases were identified (4 females and 1 male) aged between 3 and 12 years. All presented with recurrent left sided neck abscesses. All children underwent a diagnostic laryngo-tracheo-bronchoscopy which identified a sinus in the apex of the left pyriform fossa. This was obliterated using electrocautery in 1 patient, CO₂ laser/Silver Nitrate chemocautery in 2 patients and Silver Nitrate chemocautery in a further 2 patients. There were no complications and no recurrences over a mean follow-up period of 25 months (range 11-41 months).
Endoscopic obliteration of pyriform fossa sinus is a safe method for treating fourth branchial arch anomalies with no recurrence.