Clinical and radiographic findings in children with spontaneous lymphatic malformation regression

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Evaluate clinical and radiographic characteristics of spontaneously regressing lymphatic malformations (“lesions”).


Retrospective review of 104 consecutive patients with cervicofacial lesions, with 1-year follow-up. Data collected: patient's age; lesion stage, location, radiographic characteristics; treatment. Data analysis using descriptive and Fischer exact tests.


Spontaneously regressing lesions were identified in 13 of 104 (12.5%) patients. Five of 13 had in utero lesions, which persisted at birth; presenting age in the remaining eight patients was 2 to 138 months. Lesions regressed within 2 to 7 months. Lesion stage: I (7 of 13), II (2 of 13), III (4 of 13). Lesion location: left neck (9 of 13), right neck (4 of 13), posterior neck (10 of 13). All 13 resolving lesions were macrocystic with fewer than five septations in 11 of 13. Comparison of a resolving lesion cohort with a nonresolving lesion cohort demonstrated that disappearing lesions are more likely to have fewer than five septae and to be macrocystic (P < 0.05). Treatment was none in seven of 13, antibiotics in four of 13, and redundant skin excision in two of 13.


Spontaneous lesion regression can occur, and these lesions have distinct features. Lesions with these characteristics can be observed.

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