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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2006 Oct;17(10):1639-48.

Percutaneous sclerotherapy for lymphatic malformations: a retrospective analysis of patient-evaluated improvement.

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Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To evaluate the midterm outcomes of percutaneous sclerotherapy of lymphatic malformations (LMs) as judged by patients.


A 13-item survey questionnaire was sent to 74 patients who had undergone at least one sclerotherapy procedure in our hospital from January 1997 through January 2003. Information regarding the anatomic location, specific symptoms reported, history, treatment satisfaction, postprocedural complications, and number of treatment sessions was elicited. Four sclerosing agents (as single agents or in combination with other agents) were used: ethanol, sodium tetradecyl sulfate 3% (STS), OK-432, and doxycycline.


Fifty-five patients or their caregivers completed the survey. The patients' ages ranged from 6 months to 48 years at the time of the first procedure (mean, 12 y; median, 4 y). A majority of LMs were located in the cervicofacial region. The size and location of the lesion, recurrent infection, and pain were the most frequent indications for treatment. Fifty-one percent of these patients received sclerotherapy alone or in conjunction with surgery as primary treatment. Ethanol was the most common sclerosing agent used, followed by doxycycline, STS, and OK-432. Response varied with the type of LM, with 100%, 86%, and 43% of the patients reporting good to complete response for macrocystic, microcystic, and combined-type LMs, respectively. Skin blistering and ulcers were the most common complications. Permanent complications were uncommon and were largely related to ethanol use.


Percutaneous sclerotherapy provides effective midterm primary treatment for LMs. Treatment outcomes appear to vary according to the morphology of the malformation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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