a1 Department of Otolaryngology, Roskilde County Hospital, Denmark
Objective: To examine the accuracy of the pre-operative diagnosis of branchial cleft anomalies, and also to describe their occurrence, clinical presentation and management.
Methods: Retrospective review of the records of patients diagnosed with a branchial cleft anomaly between 1997 and 2006.
Results: One hundred and twenty-six patients were included. Pre-operative diagnosis had a positive predictive value of 0.856 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.771–0.918) and a sensitivity of 0.944 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.869–0.979). These patients' demographic data, investigations, findings and management are presented, along with a possible strategy for dealing with solitary cystic masses in the neck.
Conclusion: As pre-operative diagnosis has a positive predictive value of 86 per cent, cystic lesions in the neck should be presumed to be carcinomatous until proven otherwise. Branchial fistulae and sinuses seem to be a disease of childhood, while branchial cysts occur mainly in adults. Branchial cleft anomalies are equally frequent in men and women, and equally distributed on the left and right side of the neck.
(Accepted August 05 2011)
(Online publication April 12 2012)
Dr L-A Guldfred takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper
Competing interests: None declared