Infected branchial cyst

Infected branchial cyst

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Infected branchial cyst. Close-up of an infected branchial cyst on the chest of a 6-month-old male patient. This is a condition caused when the second branchial cleft, a structure that is normally lost in the embryo, fails to break down during development. The cyst, a benign (non-cancerous) swelling containing a pus-like fluid rich in cholesterol, causes no symptoms until early adulthood, when it may become infected or inflamed. Treatment is by surgical removal.

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