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 ::  Abstract
 ::  Introduction
 ::  Case report
 ::  Discussion
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Year : 1995  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 89-90

Lymphangioma of the chest wall.

Department of General Surgery, Seth GS Medical College, Parel, Mumbai.

Correspondence Address:
H M Kocher
Department of General Surgery, Seth GS Medical College, Parel, Mumbai.

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 0010707725

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 :: Abstract 

A lymphangioma of the chest wall, hitherto unreported is described here.

Keywords: Adolescent, Case Report, Fibrosis, Follow-Up Studies, Human, Lymphangioma, diagnosis,surgery,Male, Pectoralis Muscles, pathology,Thoracic Neoplasms, diagnosis,surgery,Treatment Outcome,

How to cite this article:
Kocher H M, Vijaykumar T, Koti R S, Bapat R D. Lymphangioma of the chest wall. J Postgrad Med 1995;41:89-90

How to cite this URL:
Kocher H M, Vijaykumar T, Koti R S, Bapat R D. Lymphangioma of the chest wall. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1995 [cited 2023 Sep 24];41:89-90. Available from:

  ::   Introduction Top

Lymphangiomas are developmental anomalies known to occur in the neck, axilla and rarely in the mediastinum, retroperitoneum, groin and pelvis[1]. They are differentiated from hemangiomas in that they do not contain erythrocytes[2]. They can be of simple capillary, cavernous or cystic types[2] Neck and axillary lymphangiomas commonly present at birth with or without respiratory compromise. Isolated chest wall lymphangioma is a rare condition, which is being reported for the first time[3].

  ::   Case report Top

A 18-year-old, young healthy male presented with a congenital swelling on the right chest wall, with intermittent discharge of clear yellow coloured fluid, following trauma 2 months before. There were no other swellings anywhere else in the body. There was no history of or evidence of tuberculosis. On examination there was a 12 cm x 12 cm x 1.5 cm soft, diffuse. Superficial swelling, which was fluctuant and transluminant extending from the 5th to 9th ribs between the right midclavicular and the right midaxillary lines. Cough impulse was negative. Aspirate showed straw-coloured clear fluid with proteins 6.69 gm% and 21 leucocytes and no erythrocytes. Contrast studies by needle method showed a superficial, well-defined, loculated chest wall swelling.

In the operating room, a thin walled sac with patchy fibrosis was seen below the subcutaneous plane, extending from serratus anterior to the pectoral group of muscles and overlying the external oblique aponeurosis. Most of the cyst wall was removed and the part in between the serratus digitations was left behind. Closure over a suction drain was done. Postoperative recovery was uneventful. Minimal lymphatic collection was detected till 3 weeks postoperatively, which was successfully managed by non-dependent aspiration, injection of hyper-tonic saline and compression dressing. Histopathology was consistent with lymphangioma with patchy fibrosis. Follow-up at the end of one month showed complete resolution.

  ::   Discussion Top

Approximately 65% of lymphangiomas are apparent at birth, and 90% appear at the end of second year[3]. The size of the lymphangioma appears to be directly related to the degree of obstruction of lymphaticovenous drainage as evidenced by histologic appearance[3] & and by studies of microvascular circulation with Xenon[133] clearance. As recorded in literature, more than 75% appear in the cervico-facial region. 20% in the axillary region, and the rest in the mediastinum, retro-peritoneum, pelvis and groin[2] Chest wall lymphangioma have not been reported to date[3].

Contrast studies are helpful to delineate extent, communication with intrathoracic structure, and lymphatic/venous communication in the absence of Xenon[133] clearance studies.

Excision is recommended principally for disfigurement (cosmesis) and for fear of complications like infection, sinus (as in this case), compression of vital structure or haemorrhage[3] Malignant degeneration is unlikely[3] Residual lymph collection is effectively man aged by aspiration, sclerosants and compression[4].

 :: References Top

1. Ravitch MM, Rush Jr BF. Cystic hygroma. In: Welch Ki, Randolph JG, Ravitch MM, O'Neill Jr. JA, Rowe MI, editors. Paediatric Surgery Vol 1. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers Inc; 1986, pp 536.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Robbins SL, Cotran RS, Kumar V. Blood vessels. In: Robbins SL, Cotran RS, Kumar V, editors. Pathologic barir of dir Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co; 1984, pp 544.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Fonnkaisurd EW. Disorders of the lymphatic system. In: Welch KJ, Randolph JG, Ravitch MM, O'Neill Jr. JA, Rowe MI, editors. Paediatric Surgery Vol 2. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers Inc; 1986, pp 1506.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Groteid JL, Weber TR, Dane DW. One stage resection of massive cervicofacial hygroma Surg 1984; 92:693.   Back to cited text no. 4    


[Figure - 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Prenatal and perinatal aspects of a giant fetal cervicothoracal lymphangioma
Axt-Fliedner R, Hendrik HJ, Schwaiger C, et al.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
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