[Congenital neck masses. Embryonic origin and diagnosis. Report of the CIREOL].J Radiol. 1995 Jul; 76(7):405-15.JR
Various congenital cervical anomalies are found in the neck region including defects of the branchial apparatus (branchial, thymic and parathyroid anomalies) and vascular anomalies. They manifest as cystic masses, sinuses, fistulas and as ectopic glands. This multicentric retrospective imaging study done in 5 different radiological centers (4 adult radiological departments and 1 pediatric radiological department) shows the result in understanding the congenital cervical anomalies and include 63 patients. The age of the patients varied between 24 days-81 years with a mean age of 23 years. This study included 27 patients having congenital branchial pouch anomalies (4 cases of anomalies of obliteration of the 4 th arch), 14 cases of cervical cystic hygromas, 11 thyroglossal tract cyst cases, 1 congenital laryngocele case, 1 case of jugular ectasia, 3 cases of capillary haemangioma. The embryologic basis of these different malformations were reviewed. Their characteristic findings and sites were illustrated together with their typical et atypical appearances. The frequency of occurrence of each branchial anomaly were plotted, the second branchial cleft cyst being by far the most common congenital cystic neck mass (70%). The study revealed the role of different imaging modalities in the diagnosis of various congenital cervical anomalies, especially in some particular complicated cases of congenital neck masses presenting in adult. Imaging study helps the clinician to anticipate any difficulties in unforeseen circumstances that may arise including infection haemorrhage, or parapharyngeal extension. Understanding the various radiologic appearances of these anomalies is greatly aided by familiarity with their embryologic origin. Moreover, considering the anatomic location and radiologic appearance, the precise embryologic origin can be accurately predicted.