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November 18, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(21):1860-1864. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800460014004

The neck with its complex embryologic evolution is particularly subject to developmental anomalies. Among these may be mentioned branchial cysts and fistulas, cystic hygromas, submaxillary and submental inclusion cysts, dermoids, an accessory auditory canal, a lingual thyroid and an aberrant thyroid.

Successful surgical assault of any congenital lesion consists of a complete reversal of the embryonic processes causing the condition in question. Obviously, in the subject being discussed at least a working knowledge of the embryologic anatomy of the neck is essential. The frequency of recurrences noted following surgical attack is evident testimony to the fact that a fundamental knowledge of the subject is not generally held. In the short space allotted, therefore, I shall sketch diagrammatically a rough working model of some of the embryology of the neck and its relationship to some of the common anomalies.

EMBRYOLOGY  Although noteworthy studies of the branchial apparatus have been made by