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Massive Cervico-Lingual Cystic Hygroma

Odhiambo WA1, Karega A2, Kalisa L2, Dimba E1


  1. School of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi

  2. Kigali University Teaching Hospital

Correspondence to: Dr Walter Odhiambo, P.O Box 21253 00505, Nairobi. Email:


Cystic Hygroma (CH) is an aberrant proliferation of lymphatic vessels creating fluid-filled sacs that result from blockage in the abnormal lymphatic system. These benign lesions are characteristic in their capability to grow to an enormously huge size has potential pressure effects on the neighboring structures. The massive expansion can also lead to gross disfigurement of the neck and face. In this paper, we present a rare case of cervico-lingual CH in a 17-year old Rwandese boy. Though the lesion had caused massive expansion of the tongue (12cm x 10cm) and led to gross deformity of the mandible, the boy had no signs of respiratory distress. His main concerns were inability to eat solid foods and compromised speech. The management challenges and literature review on cystic hygroma of the head and neck region are discussed.

Key Words: Cystic Hygroma, Cervico-Lingual