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Percutaneous sclerotherapy with ethanolamine oleate for lymphatic malformations of the head and neck
  1. Matthew David Alexander1,
  2. Ryan A McTaggart2,
  3. Omar A Choudhri2,
  4. Mary L Marcellus2,
  5. Huy M Do2
  1. 1Department of Radiology, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, California, USA
  2. 2Departments of Radiology and Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr H M Do, Departments of Radiology and Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, 300 Pasteur Dr, S047 MC 5105, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; huymdo{at}


Introduction Lymphatic malformations are low flow congenital lesions that frequently occur in the head and neck, and often require treatment. Multiple therapeutic modalities exist, including percutaneous sclerotherapy, which has been performed successfully with numerous sclerosants. Few data exist on use of ethanolamine oleate to treat lymphatic malformations. This study reports single center results using this agent to treat lymphatic malformations of the head and neck.

Materials and methods Prospectively maintained procedural records were retrospectively reviewed to identify all patients with lymphatic malformations who underwent percutaneous sclerotherapy. The Mulliken and Glowacki classification was used to diagnose lymphatic malformations. Medical records and images were reviewed to record demographic information, lesion characteristics, treatment sessions, and clinical and imaging response. Lesions and outcomes were evaluated with both qualitative and quantitative volumetric analysis. Response was assessed after each session and after all sessions in those patients undergoing more than one intervention, and χ2 analysis was performed to evaluate the effects of lesion and demographic characteristics on outcomes.

Results 12 interventions were performed for lesions in 10 patients. No procedural complications occurred following any procedures. Four (40.0%) patients had an excellent result after treatment, which was accomplished in one session for each of these lesions. Four (40.0%) had good results. One (10.0%) had a fair result after three sessions. One (10.0%) patient with an indeterminate syndrome with multiple congenital anomalies had a poor response following treatment. The family decided to withdraw care, and the airway was compromised. Average lesion volume reduction was 28% for all lesions and 42% when excluding the lesion for which future treatments were declined. Purely macrocystic lesions were more likely to have an excellent response to treatment than lesions with both macrocystic and microcystic components.

Conclusions Percutaneous sclerotherapy using ethanolamine oleate to treat lymphatic malformations of the head and neck appears safe and efficacious. This agent should be considered when treating these complex lesions, particularly those that are exclusively macrocystic. Further investigation of such treatments should evaluate this agent alongside the many others currently utilized.

  • Vascular Malformation
  • Technique

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