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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Aug;73(8):1114-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2009.04.016. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Management of lymphatic malformations and macroglossia: results of a national treatment survey.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, United States Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan.



To determine current trends among American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology members on the treatment of various stages of lymphatic malformation (LM) with an emphasis on tongue management.


We queried the members on practice demographics, number of LMs and LM-Mac treated, preferred treatment of different stages of LM and Lm-Mac, indications for LM-Mac tongue treatment, preferred method of surgical tongue reduction, and medical management of acutely enlarging LMs and LM-Mac.


39/329 (12%) American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology members responded to the survey. Airway obstruction or obstructive sleep apnea (27/39, 69%) followed by recurrent tongue trauma with bleeding, pain or mucosal changes (11/39, 28%) were the most common indications for tongue management. 16/37 (43%) of respondents preferred staged tongue reduction followed by neck dissection (cervical approach to the LM), 8/37 (22%) preferred staged neck dissection followed by tongue reduction, and 13/37 (35%) preferred simultaneous treatment of the tongue and neck. The preferred methods of tongue reduction were superficial laser ablation (17/38, 45%) and surgical excision (14/39, 36%). The preferred methods of surgical tongue reduction were anterior wedge (18/38, 47%) and midline keyhole reduction (13/38, 34%). For rapidly enlarging lymphatic malformations involving the tongue, the majority of respondents indicated that they would admit and observe (34/38, 89%), give steroids (34/37, 92%) and administer antibiotics (35/38, 92%).


While providing insight into treatment patterns, this survey also helps to elucidate the need for multicenter trials for treatment of LM to develop a standard of care that can be recommended based on evidence based medicine rather.

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