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Cystic hygroma. A 3 year old boy with cystic hygroma, photographed with his mother. Cystic hygroma, or lymphatic malformation, is a form of lymphangioma in which large fluid-filled cysts develop in the posterior triangle of the neck. This is due to the lymphatic system failing to drain into the veins of the neck. If present before birth (about 60% of cases), it is usually a result of a chromosomal abnormality. Postnatal onset suggests an acquired condition. The benign cysts are often disfiguring and can involve other tissues such as the tongue, as seen here. Treatment is by surgery or by the use of sclerosing agents such as doxycyclin.
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