Preauricular sinus and cyst
|Preauricular sinus and cyst|
Preauricular sinus on right ear
|Classification and external resources|
A preauricular sinus (also known as a congenital auricular fistula, a congenital preauricular fistula, an ear pit,:782 or a preauricular cyst) is a common congenital malformation characterized by a nodule, dent or dimple located anywhere adjacent to the external ear. Frequency of preauricular sinus differs depending on race, 0.1-9% in the US, 0.9% in the UK, and 4-10% in Asia and parts of Africa. Frequency is known to be higher in African Americans and Asians compared to caucasians.
They are inherited features and usually appear on one side, but may be present on both sides in 25 to 50% of cases.
Preauricular sinuses and cysts result from developmental defects of the first and second pharyngeal arches. This and other congenital ear malformations are sometimes associated with renal anomalies. In rare cases they may be associated with branchio-oto-renal syndrome.
Most preauricular sinuses are asymptomatic and remain untreated unless they become infected too often. Preauricular cysts are treated with surgery which, because of their close proximity to the facial nerve, is performed by an experienced surgeon, such as an otolaryngologist (a head and neck specialist).
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