Cystic hygroma (CH) is a cluster of cysts in the lymph drainage device that typically affects the head and also neck of youngsters (fetuses and also newborns to age 2 years). The cause is unknown yet may be pertained to genetic changes in the fetus. Cystic hygromas are really infrequently watched in adults.

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The cystic hygroma is a lymphatic lesion written of a cluster of cysts the can appear in practically any area the the body, return it generally affects the head and also neck (about 75%), most often on the left side. Cystic hygromas (CH) are also termed cystic lymphangiomas or macrocystic lymphatic malformations. The majority (over 50%) room seen at birth and around 80% come 90% current by 2 year of age. The microcystic kind is made up of cysts the are less than 2 centimeters if the macrocystic type comprises cysts higher than 2 centimeters.


The reason of cystic hygromas is not known, however genetic abnormalities are present in around 25% come 75% of affected children. The an illness is much more common in people with Turner syndrome, under syndrome, or Klinefelter syndrome.


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Although part patients have actually visible lesions to make the diagnosis ~ above examination, others do not. The soft tissue lesions have the right to be visualized with MRI scan, CT scan, ultrasound, and also occasionally even with X-rays. Various other studies such together airway fluoroscopy and also lymphoscintigraphy (lymph node mapping through radiographic imaging) have actually been used. Also, endoscopic biopsy has been offered for diagnosis.

Ultrasound has been supplied to diagnose cystic hygromas in fetuses as at an early stage as the first trimester.


The symptoms and signs of cystic hygroma vary with the location of the cluster of cysts. However, due to the fact that many are existing in the neck, lock can create symptoms that selection from none to severe. Signs and also symptoms the cystic hygroma space as follows:

clusters of clear, black, or red vesicles on buccal mucosa or the tongue (microcystic form)large cysts with overlying bluish or normal-appearing skin (macrocystic form)breathing difficultiesfeeding difficultiesfailure to thrive (especially in kids who have involvement of the gastrointestinal tract)intra-lesional bleeding (rare)

Some clinicians choose to “watch and wait” in kids who have a cystic hygroma and no symptoms. However, if symptoms develop, there are two main treatments -- medical, making use of chemicals to scar or obliterate the cysts and also surgical cut of the cystic tissue. Some authors think about surgical removal as the desired treatment. Various other techniques, such together radiofrequency ablation and also laser induced thermotherapy, have additionally been supplied to act the lesions. Parental should talk about treatment choices that would certainly be ideal for their boy with their child"s treatment team, commonly composed the the child"s pediatrician and also a operation specialist and/or otolaryngologist.


The prognosis of cystic hygromas is variable and also can variety from an excellent to poor. For example, if most yet not every cystic hygroma organization is removed, over there is a 15% possibility of recurrence.

Prognosis decreases when the cystic hygroma is in fetuses and also in those with extreme neck thickening. Also, if the fetus also has hereditary abnormalities the prognosis is poorer.


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medically reviewed through Margaret A. Walsh, MD; American plank of PediatricsREFERENCE:Acevedo, J. L., et al. "Cystic Hygroma." Medscape. 11 Mar 2015.
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