Enigma in the diagnosis of congenital neck masses: a prospective study
Keywords:Branchial cyst, Bronchogenic cyst, Congenital neck mass, Dermoid cyst, Thyroglossal cyst
Background: Head and neck swellings are common in routine otorhinolaryngologic practice. This study was done to assess the incidence and varied presentation of different congenital neck swellings.
Methods: Hospital based prospective study done in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at a tertiary care hospital from January 2017 to December 2018. A total of 28 patients with slow, progressive neck swellings were selected after excluding thyroid swellings and acute inflammatory neck swellings. All patients had no other complaints. After a thorough clinical examination and investigations like ultrasonography, fine needle aspiration cytology and radiological examination, surgery was done, and specimens obtained were sent for histopathological examination. Patients were followed up to 1 year.
Results: 28 patients with congenital neck mass were studied. 15 were thyroglossal cysts, 7 were branchial anomalies, 5 were dermoid cysts and 1 was bronchogenic cyst. The most frequent congenital neck mass was thyroglossal duct cyst and fistula (53.57%) followed by, in descending order, cysts and fistulas of the branchial apparatus (25%), dermoid cysts (17.85%) and bronchogenic cyst (3.5%) respectively.
Conclusions: The overall presentation in terms of age group, location, incidence and clinical features of congenital neck swellings is an enigma to the treating surgeon as well as the pathologist. The prevalence varies largely among centres. A knowledge of the varied differential diagnosis of slow progressive masses in the neck should be kept in mind while planning the surgical procedure for total removal of the lesion to avoid recurrence.
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