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Lymphatic Malformations

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important

It is possible that the main title of the report Lymphatic Malformations is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • cavernous lymphangioma
  • cystic hygroma
  • cystic lymphangioma
  • lymphangioma circumscriptum
  • lymphangioma
  • lymphangiomatosis
  • macrocystic lymphatic malformation
  • microcystic lymphatic malformation

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Lymphatic malformations are rare non-malignant masses consisting of fluid-filled channels or spaces thought to be caused by the abnormal development of the lymphatic system. These malformations are usually apparent at birth or by two years of age. Lymphatic malformations can affect any area of the body (except the brain), but most commonly affect the head and neck. When evident at birth (congenital), lymphatic malformations tend to be soft, spongy, non-tender masses. The specific symptoms and severity of lymphatic malformations varies based upon the size and specific location of the malformation. Some lymphatic malformations can be massive. Lymphatic malformations regardless of size can potentially cause functional impairment of nearby structures or organs and disfigurement of affected areas.



The lymphatic system functions as part of the immune system and helps to protect the body against infection and disease. It consists of a network of tubular channels (lymph vessels) that transport a thin watery fluid known as lymph from different areas of the body into the bloodstream. Lymph accumulates between tissue cells and contains proteins, fats, and certain white blood cells known as lymphocytes. As lymph moves through the lymphatic system, it passes through a network of lymph nodes that help the body to deactivate sources of infection (e.g., viruses, bacteria, etc.) and inflammation (e.g. antigens). Groups of lymph nodes are located throughout the body, including in the neck, under the arms (axillae), at the elbows, and in the chest, abdomen, and groin. The lymphatic system includes the spleen, which filters worn-out red blood cells and produces lymphocytes, and bone marrow, which is the spongy tissue inside the cavities of bones that manufactures blood cells.



Several different terms were once used to describe conditions now grouped under the umbrella term "lymphatic malformations". Such terms include cystic hygroma, lymphangioma, cavernous lymphangioma, cystic lymphangioma, and lymphangioma circumscriptum. These terms have been abandoned because some of the outdated terms imply a relationship to cancer. Lymphatic malformations are not cancerous and there is no known risk of malignant transformation.

Resources

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue

White Plains, NY 10605

Tel: (914)997-4488

Fax: (914)997-4763

Tel: (888)663-4637

Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com

Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com



Contact A Family

209-211 City Road

London, EC1V 1JN

United Kingdom

Tel: 02076088700

Fax: 02076088701

Tel: 08088083555

Email: info@cafamily.org.uk

Internet: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/



Cystic Hygroma and Lymphangioma Support Group

United Kingdom

Tel: 02086729259

Email: darrenbowler1@gmail.com or corinne321@hotmail.co.uk

Internet: http://www.chalsg.org.uk/



Vascular Birthmarks Foundation

P.O. Box 106

Latham, NY 12110

USA

Tel: (877)823-4646

Email: hvbf@aol.com

Internet: http://www.birthmark.org



Lymphovenous Canada

8 Silver Ave

Toronto

Ontario, M6R 1X8

Canada

Tel: 4165332428

Email: info@lymphovenous-canada.ca

Internet: http://www.lymphovenous-canada.ca



Lymphatic Research Foundation

40 Garvies Point Road

Glen Cove, NY 11542

USA

Tel: (516)625-9675

Fax: (516)625-9410

Email: lrf@lymphaticresearch.org

Internet: http://www.lymphaticresearch.org



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223

Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/



National Organization of Vascular Anomalies

PO Box 38216

Greensboro, NC 27438-8216

Email: admin@mail.novanews.org

Internet: http://www.novanews.org



Lymphangiomatosis & Gorham's Disease Alliance

19919 Villa Lante Place

Boca Raton, FL 33434

Tel: (561)441-9766

Email: info@lgdalliance.org

Internet: http://www.lgdalliance.org/



Venous Disease Coalition

1075 S. Yukon Street, Suite 320

Suite 320

Lakewood, CO 80226

Tel: (303)989-0500

Fax: (303)989-0200

Tel: (888)833-4463

Email: info@venousdiseasecoalition.org

Internet: http://www.venousdiseasecoalition.org



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  6/7/2011

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