APSP J Case Rep: Vol. 4 Issue 1: p. 9
Copyright © 2013 Mirza B
Received Day: 17 Month: 7 Year: 2012
Accepted Day: 20 Month: 8 Year: 2012
Congenital Midline Cervical Cleft
Bilal Mirza Affiliation: Department of Pediatric Surgery, The Children's Hospital and the Institute of Child Health Lahore, Pakistan
Correspondence: Address for Correspondence: Bilal Mirza, 428 Nishter block iqbal town Lahore. [email protected]

A 3-year-old boy presented with a midline skin defect in the center of the neck. On examination, a 6 cm long and about 1.5 cm wide lesion extending from hyoid bone to the suprasternal notch was noted. There was a nipple like skin hood at the cranial end of the defect with a sinus at the caudal part (Fig. 1).

On palpation, sub-mental bony spur was felt. The defect was associated with limitation of neck extension. Surgery was offered. At operation the extent of the sinus was about 4-6mm. The skin defect along with its cranial and caudal lesions was excised. The surgical wound was closed with multiple z-plasties (Fig. 2). The postoperative recovery was uneventful. Histopathology of the specimen showed skin histology in the upper hood like part. The cleft portion was devoid of skin appendages, and the sinus tract was blind and lined by pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium. At follow up the neck extension has greatly improved. The parents were satisfied with the cosmetic outcome.


Congenital midline cervical cleft (CMCC) is a rare anomaly and less than 100 cases have been reported to date [1]. The prevalence of CMCC in all cases of thyroglossal cyst and brachial cleft sinuses is 1.7% and it is considered a variant of Tessier 30 craniofacial cleft [1, 2]. It presents at birth as a visible defect in cervical region in the midline. CMCC consists of three parts, a nipple like skin hood at cranial end followed by a middle area of skin cleft with a small blind ending sinus caudally. Embryologically, most of the authors believe it to be the outcome of failure of branchial arches I and II, to fuse in the midline. The main indications of surgery are cosmetic, prevention of neck contracture, release of neck contracture in case of delayed presentation, and to some extent psychological effect on the patient. If left untreated for a longer period, the lesion would result in severe neck contracture. My patient presented at the age of 3 year with considerable limitation of extension of the neck. These defects can be excised elliptically with closure of the defect with and without Z-plasty. In case of small defect one Z-plasty can be sufficient, however in large defects, as in index case, multiple z plasties have to be performed. Some authors advocate use of skin flaps to cover the defect [1-5].


Source of Support: Nil

Conflict of Interest: None declared

How to Cite: Mirza B. Congenital midline cervical cleft. APSP J Case Rep 2013: 4: 9.


Figure 1: Congenital midline cervical cleft showing nipple like hood (1), cleft (2), and sinus (3).

Figure 2: Wound closure after excision of the defect.

1. Sinopidis X, Kourea HP, Panagidis A, Alexopoulos V, Tzifas S, Dimitriou G, et al. Congenital midline cervical cleft: diagnosis, pathologic findings, and early stage treatment. Case Rep Pediatr 2012; 1: 951040.
2. Warden C, Millar A J W. A rare congenital midline cervical cleft. SAJS 2010;48:98–9.
3. Spencer Cochrane C, DeFatta R J, Brenski A C. Congenital midline cervical cleft: a practical approach to z-plasty closure. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2006;70:553–9.
4. Mlynarek A, Hagr A, Tewfik T L, Nguyen V H. Congenital midline cervical cleft: case report and review of literature. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2003;67:1243–9. [pmid: 14597377]
5. Eastlack J P, Howard R M, Frieden I J. Congenital midline cervical cleft: case report and review of the English language literature. Ped Derm 2000;17:118–22.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2013 APSP Journal of Case Reports

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 2218-8185

We are now in process to use new version of Open Journal System. Submission are now open on our new website. Please CLICK HERE to divert to our new manuscript management system. You are required to register an author account before making any submission.