This retrospective study was conducted to analyze congenital neck masses in Jordanians compared with international findings.
The records of patients with congenital neck masses between 1991 and 2002 were retrieved from the Department of Pathology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, and analyzed for age, gender, location, clinical features, and treatment.
Within the 12-year period of the study, a total of 2,063 neck mass lesions were found; of these, 252 (12%) were congenital masses. These cases were distributed into 166 (66%) midline, 55 (22%) lateral, and 31 (12%) entire neck masses. The most frequent mass was thyroglossal duct cyst (fistulas) (53%), followed by cysts (fistulas) of the branchial apparatus (22%), dermoid cysts (11%), hemangiomas (7%), and 1ymphangiomas (6%). The majority of branchial arch anomalies (85%) were of the second arch. The mean age of patients was 16 years, with the greatest number of cases (38%) in the first decade. The male-to-female ratio was 1:1.2, with most lesions affecting females. The majority of lesions presented with painless neck swelling, and all lesions were surgically excised.
The overall frequency and age distribution of congenital neck masses in northern Jordanians are similar to international findings. However, the gender distribution and relative frequency of individual types of neck masses are somewhat different from those in other countries. These differences may be attributed to genetic and geographic differences.