This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Microcystic lymphatic malformation is one subtype of lymphatic malformation (LM), a congenital malformation of the lymphatic vessels in soft tissues, including the skin. LM is classified into the macrocystic type, cysts larger than 2 cm with clear margins (previously known as cystic hygromas), and the microcystic type, consisting of cysts smaller than 2 cm, that appear diffuse, and grow without clear borders (previously known as lymphangioma circumscriptum). When the two types concur it is called the combined type. Microcystic lesions are commonly found inside the mouth, throat, and in the tongue, parotid gland and submandibular gland. Symptoms include deformity, and problems with breathing and feeding. The exact cause is unknown but is likely related to a malformation of the lymphatic system at six to ten weeks of gestation, when some lymphatic tissue fails to communicate with the lymphatic and venous system. Treatment depends upon the clinical presentation, the size of the lesion, the location, and resulting complications. Superficial mucosal microcystic lesions may be treated with laser therapy.
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