A giant lateral cervical cyst

  • Shiv Kumar
  • A. K. Gupta
  • Ravi Singhvi
Short Communication


The Branchial apparatus was first described by Von Baer in 1827. (cited by King. 1949) After five years the cervical fistula was recognised as an anomalie of Branchial apparatus. By 1864 the term “branchial fistulae” had been applied, and soon thereafter cysts of the lateral neck were to be ascribed to branchial origin. Everything appeared to fit nicely into this neat categorization until 1912 when Wenglowski published the results of his dissections of Cadavers and human embryos, which led him to doubt the branchiogenic origin of many lateral cervical cysts. In the ensuing years various theories as to the exact pathogenesis of these anomalies have been proposed with more controversies on the matter of cysts than on fistulas or sinuses.

There are four theories of origin of branchial cysts but because of the complicated development of the neck none has been proven by empryological investigation. Most of the theories attempted to correlate clinical findings with known embryological facts and none can stand close scrutiny4. Here a case is reported who presented to us with large lateral cervical cyst extending from angle of jaw to sternoclavicular joint, strengthening the cervical sinus theory. It postulates that branchial cysts represent remains of the cervical sinus of His which is formed by the second arch growing down to meet the fifth.


Lateral Neck Branchial Arch External Maxillary Artery Sternoclavicular Joint Giant Lateral 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. (1).
    Albers, G.d. (1963): Branchial anomalies. J.A. M. A. 183: 399–409.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. (2).
    Chandler: J. R. and Mitchell, B. (1981): Branchial cleft cysts, sinuses and fistulas. The otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 14:175–186.Google Scholar
  3. (3).
    King E.S.J. (1949): The lateral Lymoho-epithelial cyst of the neck. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery. 19. 109.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. (4).
    Maran, A.G.D. (1981): Benign diseases of neck in scott Browns otolaryngology (5th end.). 283–300.Google Scholar
  5. (5).
    Wenglowski, R.: Uber die Halsfisteln and cysten. (1912): Arch. Klin. Chir. 98: 151–208.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiv Kumar
    • 1
  • A. K. Gupta
    • 1
  • Ravi Singhvi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of E.N.T.General HospitalUdaipur Rajasthan

Personalised recommendations