Merck Manual

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Lymphatic Malformations

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

By

Denise M. Aaron

, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Last full review/revision May 2019| Content last modified May 2019
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Topic Resources

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

Most lymphatic malformations are present at birth or develop within the first 2 years.

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

  • Clinical evaluation

Diagnosis of lymphatic malformations is made clinically and by MRI.

Treatment

  • Usually unnecessary

Treatment of lymphatic malformations 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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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
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