BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-009514

Retroauricular abscess from first bilateral branchial cleft sinus

  1. Elena Koonen
  1. Department of Otolaryngology, Luxembourg Hospital Center, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  1. Correspondence to Dr Julien Wen Hsieh, hsiehjulien{at}


A 33-year-old man presented with a left retroauricular swelling which was growing insidiously for 8 days. The patient has reported a similar episode few years ago in his right ear. Examination revealed a tract opening on a painful abscess behind the left ear (figure 1), a right retroauricular external opening without infection (figure 2), while CT scan failed to demonstrate any fistula. This suggests a left posterior abscess from bilateral first branchial cleft sinus. The abscess was drained and treated by …

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