Third branchial cleft anomaly presenting as a retropharyngeal abscess 81st Annual Meeting of the Pacific-Coast-Oto-Ophthalmological-Society Huang, R. Y., Damrose, E. J., Alavi, S., Maceri, D. R., Shapiro, N. L. ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD. 2000: 167–72


Branchial cleft anomalies are congenital developmental defects that typically present as a soft fluctuant mass or fistulous tract along the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. However, branchial anomalies can manifest atypically, presenting diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Error or delay in diagnosis can lead to complications, recurrences, and even life-threatening emergencies. We describe a case of an infected branchial cleft cyst that progressed to a retropharyngeal abscess in a 5-week-old female patient. The clinical, radiographic, and histologic findings of this rare presentation of branchial cleft cyst are discussed.

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