Skin nonmelanocytic tumor

Vascular tumors

Lymphangioma / lymphatic malformation

Last author update: 1 August 2012
Last staff update: 17 May 2021

Copyright: 2003-2023,, Inc.

PubMed search: lymphangioma [title] skin

Related topics: Soft tissue chapter

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
Page views in 2022: 3,772
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Cite this page: Hale CS. Lymphangioma / lymphatic malformation. website. Accessed March 22nd, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Usually infants or children age 5 years or less
  • Neck, axilla, breast, chest, buttock, thigh
  • Either superficial (lymphangioma circumscriptum, associated with surgery or radiotherapy for breast carcinoma), cystic (cystic hygroma) or deep (lymphangioma cavernosum)
Case reports
  • Excision, but 25% recur
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Grouped translucent papules with thin vascular lumina that impinge on epidermis
  • Often deep remnants in subcutaneous tissue
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by V. Pavithra, M.D.

Board review style question #1
Which of the following statements is true regarding lymphatic malformations?

A. They typically arise in senior adults
B. They are unaffected by hormonal changes
C. They may recur after excision
D. They are distinctive and unlikely to be confused with other entities
Board review style answer #1
C. They may recur after excision. Lymphatic malformations are congenital and usually detected at birth or in the first few years of life. They may be affected by pubertal or pregnancy related hormones. There is a broad differential diagnosis including (acquired) lymphangiectasia, metastatic carcinoma, verrucae, molluscum, hemangioma, angiokeratoma and lymphangioendothelioma.

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Reference: Skin nonmelanocytic tumor > Lymphangioma / lymphatic malformation
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