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Table 2 Branchial arch anomalies and their associated differential diagnoses

From: Branchial cleft anomalies: a pictorial review of embryological development and spectrum of imaging findings

Cleft Differential diagnoses
First branchial cleft anomaly Parotitis with abscess formation
lymphatic malformation
parotid sialocoele
benign lymphoepithelial cyst
Second branchial cleft anomaly Lymphatic malformation
cystic nodal metastases
lymphadenopathy/abscess
schwannoma
Third branchial cleft anomaly Lymphatic malformation
abscess
cervical thymic cyst
infrahyoid thyroglossal duct cyst
cystic nodal metastases
laryngocoele
Fourth branchial cleft anomaly Cervical thymic cyst
lymphatic malformation
thyroglossal duct cyst
thyroid colloid cyst
abscess