Unusual location of a second branchial cleft cyst presenting in the suprasternal notch

Monica H. Xing, Neil Mundi, Aparna Govindan, Azita Khorsandi, Mark L. Urken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Second branchial cleft cysts (SBCCs) are congenital benign tumors that comprise up to 90% of all branchial cleft anomalies. SBCCs typically present in the lateral neck along the anterior border of the upper third of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. We describe a case of a SBCC presenting in an unusual location in the lower neck close to midline. Methods: An 18-year-old male presented with a 2-year history of a neck mass in the suprasternal notch. Imaging findings were reviewed with a head and neck radiologist who felt that the findings were highly suggestive of a fourth branchial cleft cyst. Results: The patient underwent surgical excision of the mass. Final pathologic evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of a second branchial cleft cyst. Conclusions: Though extremely uncommon, second branchial cleft cysts can extend to the suprasternal notch and should not be excluded from the differential diagnoses of lower neck masses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E27-E29
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • branchial cleft anomaly
  • large size
  • location
  • second branchial cleft cyst
  • suprasternal notch


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