Cystic Hygroma in an Adult; a Case Report
Lymphangioma is a benign infiltrative malformation of the lymphatic channels. Cystic lymphangioma or cystic hygroma is a subtype of lymphangioma which exhibits large macroscopic cystic space histologically. The cause of cystic hygroma is believed to be developmental defect or primary Multilocular cystic malformation of dilated lymphatic channels.
Cystic hygroma is a common and distinct entity that is not manifested in the oral cavity but occurs in the neck as a large, deep diffuse swelling. They are usually found in the posterior triangle of the neck. They often cross the midline, reaching axilla and mediastinum. Such localization verifies the complexity and extent of the lymphatic system in the cervical region when compared to other regions of the body. The five main locations where cystic hygroma can occur are, cervical (75- 90%), axillary (20%), inguinal, retroperitoneal and thoracic. They usually appear as solitary lesions. They are usually infiltrative, often separating fascial planes and incorporating nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. They are fluctuant, freely mobile, compressible, painless and transilluminate well. The skin overlying the lesion is normal and usually there is no associated lymphadenopathy. Various treatment modalities have been tried. Surgery has been the main form of treatment, but total removal is not possible in all cases because of the extent of the lesion, which sometimes involves vital structures. We report a case of cystic hygroma in a young male patient.
Key words: Cystic hygroma, lymphangioma, lymphatic tissue.