Long-term outcomes of lymphatic malformations in children: An 11-year experience from a tertiary referral center

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Background: Lymphatic malformations (LMs) are benign, congenital lesions that display considerable heterogeneity in terms of size, location and characteristics. This study aims to describe the long-term outcomes of current management strategies for patients with simple (cystic) LMs. Methods: The case records of all patients (age ≤16 years) with simple (cystic) LMs at our tertiary institution between 2008 and 2019 were assessed for clinical features, imaging and details of management, including complications. Results: Of a total of 164 patients (60% male), 66% were diagnosed aged <2 years. The median follow-up was 5 (0.3–16) years from diagnosis. LMs were located in the head and neck (40%), extremities (27%), trunk (23%), mediastinum (4%), or intra-abdominally (6%). Types were macrocystic in 47%, microcystic in 21% and mixed in 32%. Sclerotherapy was the most common intervention (38%). Primary surgery had been performed in 12%. Symptomatic improvement, reduction in size, or complete regression were observed in 82/102 (80%) of LMs after interventions; complications from treatment were uncommon (Clavien-Dindo grade I−II: 6%; grade III−IIId: 1%). Sixty-two patients (38%; median age 0.5 (range, 0–12) years) had not required interventions to date; spontaneous regression of the LM occurred in 16 (26%) of these expectantly followed-up cases. Conclusions: Most studies to date have focused on LMs in selected anatomical locations. Herein the outcomes of an entire population from a single tertiary unit of patients are presented, demonstrating the wide heterogeneity of simple (cystic) LMs and highlighting the importance of individualized, multidisciplinary approaches to care in achieving optimal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1005-1010
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Fields of Science

  • Lymphatic malformation
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Spontaneous resolution
  • Surgery
  • Treatment
  • 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
  • 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology

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