Learn About Branchial Cleft Cyst

What is the definition of Branchial Cleft Cyst?

A branchial cleft cyst is a birth defect. It is caused when fluid fills a space, or sinus, left in the neck when a baby develops in the womb. After the baby is born, it appears as a lump in the neck or just below the jawbone.

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What are the alternative names for Branchial Cleft Cyst?

Cleft sinus

What are the causes of Branchial Cleft Cyst?

Branchial cleft cysts form during development of the embryo. They occur when tissues in the neck area (branchial cleft) fail to develop normally.

The birth defect may appear as open spaces called cleft sinuses, which may develop on one or both sides of the neck. A branchial cleft cyst may form due to fluid in a sinus. The cyst or sinus can become infected.

What are the symptoms of Branchial Cleft Cyst?

The cysts are most often seen in children. In some cases, they are not seen until adulthood.

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Small pits, lumps, or skin tags at either side of the neck or just below the jawbone
  • Fluid drainage from a pit on the neck
  • Noisy breathing (if the cyst is large enough to block part of the airway)
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What are the current treatments for Branchial Cleft Cyst?

Antibiotics will be given if the cyst or sinuses are infected.

Surgery is generally needed to remove a branchial cleft cyst in order to prevent complications such as infections. If there is an infection when the cyst is found, surgery will likely be done after the infection has been treated with antibiotics. If there have been several infections before the cyst is found, it may be harder to remove.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Branchial Cleft Cyst?

Surgery is usually successful, with good results.

What are the possible complications of Branchial Cleft Cyst?

The cyst or sinuses may become infected if not removed. Repeated infections may make surgical removal more difficult.

When should I contact a medical professional for Branchial Cleft Cyst?

Contact your provider for an appointment if you notice a small pit, cleft, or lump in your child's neck or upper shoulder, especially if fluid drains from this area.

What are the latest Branchial Cleft Cyst Clinical Trials?
Computer Aided Tool for Diagnosis of Neck Masses in Children

Summary: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of computer aided diagnostic tool for neck masses using machine learning and deep learning techniques on clinical information and radiological images in children.

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What are the Latest Advances for Branchial Cleft Cyst?
Cancerization of first branchial cleft cyst in the parotid gland: one case report.
Excision of rare adult cervical thymic cyst.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: November 09, 2021
Published By: Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Loveless TP, Altay MA, Wang Z, Baur DA. Management of branchial cleft cysts, sinuses, and fistulae. In: Kademani D, Tiwana PS, eds. Atlas of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 92.

Thatcher AL. Congenital and inflammatory neck masses in children. In: Lesperance MM, eds. Cummings Pediatric Otolaryngology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 23.