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Rom J Morphol Embryol. 2008;49(1):69-74.

Management of second branchial cleft anomalies.

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Otolaryngology Clinic, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Craiova, Romania.


Branchial cleft anomalies are developmental disorders of the neck. The aim of this study was to evaluate the data of our patients, who have been diagnosed and treated for second branchial abnormalities in the last six years. We report our clinical experience in second branchial anomalies with a review of the literature. Our study is a retrospective one on a number of 23 patients hospitalized within 2001-2007 in ENT Clinic of Craiova for second branchial abnormalities in relation with age, gender, origin environment, clinical and paraclinical context in which the therapeutic decision was made, surgical procedures, post-surgical evolution. Among the anomalies of the second branchial arch, we encountered 10 (43.47%) patients with branchial cyst and 13 (56.52%) patients with branchial sinus. Twelve (52.17%) of the 23 patients were women and 11 (47.83%) were men; 9 (39.13%) patients were diagnosed and treated within the first age decade, seven (30.43%) within the second age decade, five (39.13%) within the third age decade and two (8.71%) in the fourth age decade. Histological examination of the lesions after excision established the diagnosis in all the cases. Second branchial arches anomalies are the most common branchial anomalies. Sinuses are more frequently than cysts and branchial fistulae are extremely rare. There is no gender predilection. The majority of patients (approximately 70%) were diagnosed and treated during their childhood. Treatment for these lesions is complete surgical excision for prevent recurrences.

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