Lymphatic Malformation

Also known as: Lymphatic Malformations

What is a Lymphatic Malformation?

A lymphatic malformation is a mass in the head or neck that results from an abnormal formation of lymphatic vessels.

Lymphatic vessels are small canals that lie near blood vessels and help carry tissue fluids from within the body to the lymph nodes and back to the bloodstream.

There are two main types of lymphatic malformations:

  • Lymphangioma: a group of lymphatic vessels that form a mass or lump. A cavernous lymphangioma contains greatly enlarged lymphatic vessels.
  • Cystic hygroma: a large cyst or pocket of lymphatic fluid that results from blocked lymphatic vessels. A cystic hygroma may contain multiple cysts connected to each other by the lymphatic vessels. Cystic hygroma occur mainly in the neck, but also occur in the mouth, cheek and around the tissues of the ear.

Lymphatic malformations are usually congenital defects that form during embryonic development.

Symptoms include: a mass or lump in the mouth, cheek or tongue or a large fluid filled mass on the back of the neck.

It is usually diagnosed via a fetal ultrasound, translumination or a CT scan.

Treatment for Lymphatic Malformation

Treatments include:
  • observation
  • antibiotics
  • incision and drainage of lesion or surgery
  • interventional radiology

This page was last updated on: 10/4/2019 11:55:13 AM