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Related to branchial apparatus: branchial groove, branchial arch derivatives, Branchial pouches
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The most common third branchial apparatus anomaly is the thymic cyst.
Given the complex anatomy of the head and neck, along with the fact that most structures located between the upper aerodigestive tract internally and the skin of the neck externally are derived from the branchial apparatus, it stands to reason that anomalies can present almost anywhere between these two boundaries.
Von Baer initially described the existence of the cervical branchial apparatus in 1827, and within 5 years, this structure's association with branchial fistulas was recognized.
Developmental anomalies of the branchial apparatus are not uncommon.
The branchial apparatus develops during the third to seventh weeks of intrauterine life.
It has been estimated that 95% of branchial apparatus congenital anomalies are derived from the second arch, pouch, and cleft.
Furthermore, the site of the pharyngeal attachment and the lack of deformity in derivatives of the first branchial apparatus support the view that this cyst originated in the second branchial apparatus.
According to the branchial apparatus theory, type IV cysts arise from a remnant of an internal pharyngeal duct, which would indicate that they are endodermal.