Endoscopic cauterization for treatment of fourth branchial cleft sinuses

Jennifer A. Jordan, Joe E. Graves, Scott C. Manning, John E. McClay, Michael J. Biavati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Fourth branchial cleft sinuses are rare, and the nature of their origin is controversial. Clinical presentation is varied because they may present as asymptomatic neck masses, recurrent neck abscesses, or suppurative thyroiditis. We describe herein 7 children who presented with abscesses on the left side of their necks, 3 of whom had abscesses that involved the thyroid gland. Direct laryngoscopy revealed that all 7 children had a sinus tract opening into the apex of the piriform sinus. Endoscopic obliteration of this tract was achieved using an insulated electrocautery probe either when the abscess was initially incised and drained or 4 to 6 weeks later. All 7 children recovered uneventfully. Four of the 7 children were followed up for more than 18 months without recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1024
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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