Lymphatic malformations or lymphangiomas
are benign (non-cancerous) vascular lesions made of fluid-filled spaces (cysts) thought to occur due to abnormal development of the lymphatic system
In general, lymphatic
malformations are categorized into macrocystic, microcystic
, or combined depending on the size of the cysts; they are also classified in superficial lesions known as lymphangioma circumscriptum, and more deep-seated lesions (cavernous lymphangioma and cystic hygroma
They are present at birth, although they may be discovered later in life.
They are most
commonly located in the neck and axilla, but
they also occur in the mouth, arm, mediastinum,
lung, abdomen and viscera. Some may appear as a tiny blue or red spot while others are massive and affect an entire arm or leg.[8019 The signs and symptoms vary depending on the size and location of the mass; however, lymphangiomas can disfigure affected areas and disrupt the function of nearby organs or tissues.
The exact underlying cause is unknown. Treatment options vary based on the signs and symptoms present in each person but may include surgery.
Last updated: 6/22/2016