Laryngeal cancer involving a branchial cleft cyst

Jonathan B. Ida*, Matthew W. Stark, Zhenggong Xiang, Mary M. Fazekas-May

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Benign secondary neck lesions in the setting of laryngeal cancer have been described, but not with branchial cleft cysts. This article describes a branchial cleft cyst in a laryngectomy/neck dissection specimen. Methods and Results A 44-year-old woman presented to our emergency department with an obstructing laryngeal tumor that was staged as a T4N0M0 squamous cell cancer on the basis of clinical and radiographic findings. After laryngectomy with bilateral neck dissections, the neck specimen contained a right-sided branchial cleft cyst, which was directly invaded by tumor. In addition, the location of the cyst relative to the larynx suggested that this was a third branchial cleft cyst. Conclusion This is the first report of a laryngeal carcinoma invading a branchial cleft cyst. Staging discrepancies may result from concurrent head and neck lesions, altering treatment plans, or changing the prognosis for the patient. Lesions such as this are nearly impossible to diagnose preoperatively, and a high index of suspicion for advanced cancer should be maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1796-1799
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Branchial cleft cyst
  • concomitant lesion
  • extralaryngeal spread
  • laryngeal cancer
  • staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Laryngeal cancer involving a branchial cleft cyst'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this