Mediastinal lymphangioma: Mayo Clinic experience of 25 cases

Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Sep;81(9):1197-203. doi: 10.4065/81.9.1197.


Objective: To describe the clinical findings, treatment outcomes, disease recurrence rates, and survival of patients with pathologically confirmed mediastinal and cervicomediastinal lymphangioma.

Patients and methods: There are 2 patient cohorts. Cohort A consisted of 12 Mayo Clinic patients with pathologically confirmed medilastinal or cervicomediastinal lymphangioma identified from 1986 to 1999. Cohort B consisted of 13 additional patients with mediastinal lymphangioma who had been previously reported from the Mayo Clinic (from 1976 to 1986). All patients were retrospectively identified, and follow-up was performed by either telephone or medical record review.

Results: The mean age at the time of diagnosis was 36.5 years, with a male-female ratio of 1:3. All but 3 patients were symptomatic at presentation, with dyspnea being the most common symptom. Computed tomographic scans commonly revealed a homogeneous, low-attenuation mass that often Involved vascular or airway structures. Although 3 patients were initially observed, all patients had surgical intervention because of symptoms or enlargement of the mass. Thoracotomy with resection was the most common surgical intervention. Five recurrences were noted. Recurrence was minimized by complete excision of the lymphangioma. On follow-up that spanned 23 years, 75% of patients were alive. These survival rates were not statistically different from the expected survival rates of the same age- and sex-matched controls. Only 1 death was attributed to complication from lymphangioma.

Conclusion: Mediastinal and cervicomediastinal lymphangioma are rare lesions that can be treated successfully with surgical excision. Prognosis appears to be excellent because no difference in survival was found between patients and age- and sex-matched controls.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphangioma / epidemiology
  • Lymphangioma / mortality
  • Lymphangioma / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Survival Analysis