DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cystic hygroma. Close-up of swelling on the neck of a 2-year-old girl with cystic hygroma. 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 genetic condition such as Turner's Syndrome. Post-natal onset suggests an acquired condition. Although benign the cysts are often disfiguring and can involve other tissues such as the tongue. Treatment is by surgery or by the use of sclerosing agents such as doxycycline.
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