Between April 1988 and July 1995, 11 children with lymphangioma were treated with intralesional OK-432 injection. In 7 patients it was the primary therapy and total shrinkage of the lesion was obtained in 5 of them. Two patients did not respond and the children underwent surgery. Following incomplete surgical removal or recurrence of the lymphangioma, intralesional OK-432 injection was used as secondary therapy in 4 patients. Total regression was observed in 2 cases and marked regression in the 2 others. No serious side-effects except fever lasting for 2-3 days and slight tenderness with swelling of the lymphangioma for 3-4 days after the injection was noted. Local inflammatory reaction did not cause any damage to the overlying skin and did not lead to scar formation. Depending on the size, location, and anatomical relationship of the airway, intralesional injections of the lymphangiomas were performed under general anaesthesia and the children were observed for 24 h. There was no recurrence after follow up periods ranging from 2 months to 7 years.
Conclusion: Intralesional injection OK-432 represents an alternative, safe and effective treatment for lymphangiomas. It can be used as the primary therapy, after partial surgical excision, or in recurrent lymphangiomas.