Congenital remnants of the third branchial pouch and cleft are uncommon and may only be detected if they become infected or enlarged.


Third Branchial



greater horn and part of body of the hyoid bone, part of epiglottis


inferior parathyroid, pyriform fossa, thymus


Complete agenesis of the third pouch derivatives is associated with the DiGeorge Syndrome.


Defects ascribed to the third cleft and pouch:

(1) sinus associated with the piriform recess

(2) cyst deep to the internal carotid artery and intimately associated with the vagus nerve

(3) cyst associated with the thymopharyngeal duct deep to the infrahyoid muscles



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