Three cases of branchial fistula in one family: a rare presentation


  • Rupa Mehta Department of ENT, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
  • Jyoti Ranjan Das Department of ENT, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
  • Nitin M. Nagarkar Department of ENT, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India



Branchial fistula, Cysts, Step ladder incision


Branchial cleft anomalies comprise approximately 30% of congenital neck mass and present as cyst, sinus or fistula. They occur due to disturbance in the maturation of the branchial apparatus during fetal development. They are congenital lesions usually present in childhood, but they are usually diagnosed in later childhood or early adulthood because of enlargement or infection. Branchial cleft fistulae are usually diagnosed earlier than cysts. Correct diagnosis leads to proper management. Complete surgical excision is the treatment of choice. Second branchial cleft and pouch anomalies are commonest amongst all branchial cleft lesions, but complete second branchial cleft anomalies with external and internal opening is rare. Branchial anomalies with family history are also very rare. Here we present a case report of complete branchial fistula with family history which was managed by complete excision of fistula through transcervical and transoral approaches. 3 members of one family in 2 generations presented with branchial apparatus anomalies (father and his two children, elder son and younger daughter). All of them were having branchial fistula on right side of neck since birth.


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