Familiarity with the embryology of the lymphatic system is helpful in understanding the pathogenesis and radiologic appearance of lymphangiomas of the cervicothoracic region. By considering anatomic location and radiologic appearance, one can predict the type of lymphangioma present, the primordial lymph sac from which the malformation arose, and when it formed in embryonic life. Cystic hygromas are composed of large, dilated lymphatic spaces. They form when a primordial lymph sac fails to reestablish communication with the central venous system from which it arose. These lesions may also result from an aberrant bud arising from a primordial lymph sac. Cavernous and capillary lymphangiomas are composed of smaller lymphatic channels. They form from abnormally sequestered buds of the developing lymphatic mesenchyme responsible for the fine meshwork of terminal branches in the periphery of the embryo. Their growth may be inhibited by the relatively tougher tissues in the periphery (eg, skin and muscle) compared with the relatively loose fatty connective tissue in which cystic hygromas form. Not only can all types of lymphangioma occur in one lesion, but lymphatic and vascular malformations may also coexist.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc|
|State||Published - Nov 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging