A layered columnar ciliated epithelium with goblet cells which is typical for the upper respiratory tract may occasionally occur in the skin or subcutaneous tissue as remnant of the second branchial cleft or as sequestrated respiratory anlage. Ectopic respiratory epithelium may present as cysts, fistulae or erythematous plaques with viscous secretion on pressure. Cases associated with congenital deafness, cardiovascular abnormalities and other malformations have been reported. There is an increased risk of malignant degeneration in ectopic epithelium of either origin.
Ectopic Respiratory Epithelia