Preschooler with right facial swelling

CT and MRI of first branchial cleft cyst
Axial CT with contrast of the face (above) shows a low density, poorly circumscribed lesion with faint rim enhancement expanding the right parotid gland. Inflammatory changes are noted in the adjacent subcutaneous tissues. Axial T2 MRI of the face from 7 months later (below left) shows areas of oval high signal intensity weaving in and out of the plane of the image representing a tract from the posterior aspect of the right parotid gland to the right external auditory canal which on axial DWI MRI (below right) also shows high signal intensity representing diffusion restriction in the tract.

The diagnosis was a parotid abscess due to an infected first branchial cleft cyst.