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Minerva Pediatrics 2022 February;74(1):70-80

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.20.06037-5


lingua: Inglese

Complex lymphatic malformations in pediatrics: a review of treatment options

Inês PESSANHA 1 , Mariana BRAVO 1, 2, Cláudia PIEDADE 1, Maria F. LOPES 1, 2

1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Hospital, University Hospital of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

INTRODUCTION: Lymphatic malformations (LMs) are low-flow lesions resulting from abnormalities in the development of lymphatics. The management of these lesions is complex and involve the collaboration of many specialties. The purpose of this review is to summarize current knowledge regarding the different therapeutic options used in complex lymphatic malformations, analyzing their indications, efficacy and complications.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A search was made using the algorithm: “(lymphatic abnormality OR lymphatic malformation OR lymphangioma OR cystic hygroma) AND (extensive OR giant OR complex) AND (therapeutics OR treatment) AND (child OR children)”. Of the 120 articles found, 53 were included.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Historically, surgery was the treatment of choice for this type of lesions. However, excision was often incomplete, associated with high rates of recurrence and severe complications. The use of sclerotherapy emerged as a minimal invasive option appropriate in selected cases as a single or adjuvant therapy. Inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin, such as sirolimus, now play a central role in the treatment of complex malformations resistant to sclerotherapy, recurrent after surgery or more extensive malformations that affect vital structures. Other therapeutic options as sildenafil and laser ablation are also recognized as effective in selected cases.
CONCLUSIONS: Looking through the literature over the last decade authors realize that surgery had gradually been replaced by less invasive options such as sirolimus with or without adjuvant sclerotherapy. In conclusion, each treatment option seems to have its own indications and characteristics, which must be considered in therapeutic decision and individualized for each patient.

KEY WORDS: Lymphatic Abnormalities; Pediatrics; Therapeutics

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