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Clinical Note
October 2009

Branchial Cleft Cyst Causing Carotid Sinus Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;135(10):1045-1047. doi:10.1001/archotol.125.12.1390

Branchial cleft cysts are one of the most common congenital anomalies. They may present in different locations, although they are often found along the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM). Pain, superinfection, and symptoms due to mass effect have been reported.1 We describe a patient with a very rare complication of significant bradycardia due to carotid sinus compression that was caused by a branchial cleft cyst. Although cardiac sick sinus syndrome has been a recognized but rare complication of head and neck cancers, congenital neck masses have not been well documented as a cause.2 To our knowledge, there has been no prior report of a branchial cleft cyst causing carotid sinus bradycardia.

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