Laryngeal obstruction by cervical and endolaryngeal lymphatic malformations in children: Proposed staging system and review of treatment

Eric E. Berg, Steven E. Sobol, Ian Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: We review and stage a series of congenital lymphatic malformations (LMs) that caused laryngeal obstruction according to a proposed staging system, review the treatment modalities utilized, and correlate the stage of disease with clinical outcomes and tracheotomy statuses. Methods: We present a detailed description of the clinical presentation, management approach, and clinical outcome and tracheotomy status of a series of patients with laryngeal obstruction by LMs. A 4-part staging system (stages I to IV) for congenital LMs obstructing the larynx, based upon our clinical experience, is proposed. The patients were retrospectively reviewed and staged according to the proposed system, and clinical management and outcomes were correlated with the stage of disease. Results: We identified 16 patients with laryngeal obstruction by LMs. Eighty-one percent (13 of 16) received sclerotherapy, and 50% (8 of 16) underwent operative excision or debridement. Forty percent (2 of 5) of stage I lesions, 75% (3 of 4) of stage II lesions, 100% (4 of 4) of stage III lesions, and 100% (3 of 3) of stage IV lesions were in patients who required tracheotomy. All patients who had stage I and II lesions and required tracheotomy have been decannulated, whereas only 2 of the 4 patients with stage III lesions and no patients with stage IV lesions have been successfully decannulated. Conclusions: Lymphatic malformations obstructing the larynx require a careful and often staged management approach. A proposed staging system helps to predict the need for tracheotomy and the likelihood of long-term tracheotomy dependence. All rights reserved

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-581
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013



  • Airway
  • Lymphangioma
  • Lymphatic malformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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