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Lymphatic Malformations

(Lymphangioma; Lymphangioma Circumscriptum; Cystic Hygroma; Cavernous Lymphangioma)

by Denise M Aaron, MD

Lymphatic vascular malformations are elevated lesions composed of dilated lymphatic vessels.

Most lymphatic malformations are present at birth or develop within the first 2 yr. Lesions are usually yellowish tan but occasionally reddish or purple if small blood vessels are intermingled. Puncture of the lesion yields a colorless or blood-tinged fluid.

Diagnosis is made clinically and by MRI.

Treatment is usually not needed. If the lesion is excised, recurrence is common, even when removal of dermal and subcutaneous tissues is extensive.

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