Clinical features

The lesion presents as a somewhat circumscribed painless swelling, which is soft and fluctuant on palpation. In oral involvement, the tongue is the site of predilection, the majority of lymphan-giomas being located on the dorsal surface of the anterior part of the tongue. The size may vary from pinhead dimensions to massive lesions involving the entire tongue and surrounding structures. The typical lymphangioma of the


A benign, cavernous/cystic vascular lesion composed of dilated lymphatic channels.

Fig. 4.37 Lymphangioma on the dorsum of the tongue.

tongue is characterized by irregular nodularity of the dorsum of the tongue with grey and pink, grapelike projections. Secondary haemorrhage in lymphan-giomas is not a rare occurrence. CT scan reveals homogeneous non-enhancing areas {775}.

A staging system of lymphatic malformations of the head and neck based on the anatomic location has shown to be of relevance in predicting prognosis and outcome of surgical intervention {561,991}.

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