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Fourth branchial abnormity and management experiences
Author(s): 
Pages: 592-595
Year: Issue:  7
Journal: Chinese Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

Keyword:  Branchial regionCongenital abnormalitiesNeck dissectionRecurrent laryngeal nerve;
Abstract: Objective To investigate the fourth branchial abnormity and its managements.Method Twelve cases of the fourth branchial abnormity treated between January 2005 and April 2012 were reviewed.Results Dissection of the recurrent laryngeal nerve was done in all cases.Partial thyroidectomy was performed in 10 cases,and 2 cases of them received selective neck dissection including level Ⅱ,Ⅲ,Ⅳ and Ⅵ.The abnormity lesions were found to pass posterior to the thyroid glands in the 10 cases and to pass through the inferior constrictor muscle into the pyriform sinus in 7 cases of them.The internal opening in the pyriform sinus demonstrated by preoperative examination couldn't be identified in the operation in one case.The abnormity tract terminated at the lateral surface of the esophagus in one case,passed into the cervical esophagus in one case,and terminated at the lateral surface of the thyroid gland in one case,and formed a cyst lateral to the thyroid gland in one case.No abnormity tract was found to loop around the hypoglossal nerve and to descend into the mediastinum.The left recurrent laryngeal nerve was cut off in one patient,although end to end anastomosis was performed immediately,the patient was still complicated with left vocal cord paralysis postoperatively.The median follow-up time of the cases was 24 months (8-88 months).One case was lost of follow up.No recurrence was found in 10 cases.Recurrence was found in one case,and no recurrence in 10 cases.Conclusions The presentation of congenital the fourth branchial fistula is variated significantly.Most abnormity lesions had close relations to the thyroid gland and the recurrent laryngeal nerve,thus the recurrent laryngeal nerve need to protect and partial thyroidectomy might be considered.In the recurrent cases when the abnormity couldn't be identified clearly,selective neck dissection including level Ⅱ,Ⅲ,Ⅳ and Ⅵ should be done long term follow up should be carried out in the cases that the internal opening couldn't be found.
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