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Radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of paediatric microcystic lymphatic malformations

  • J Goswamy (a1), S E Penney (a1), I A Bruce (a1) and M P Rothera (a1)



Congenital lymphatic malformations are a challenging clinical problem. There is currently no universally accepted treatment for the management of microcystic disease. We describe the novel use of an existing technology (radiofrequency ablation, also termed Coblation) for the debulking of paediatric microcystic lymphatic malformations involving the upper aerodigestive tract.


Five children with microcystic or mixed-type lymphatic malformations were included in this retrospective case series.


Each child had a satisfactory outcome following radiofrequency debulking, with improved oral intake and airway symptoms. No serious complications were reported. These findings constitute level IV evidence.


We recommend radiofrequency ablation as a safe, viable alternative to existing techniques for the treatment of paediatric microcystic lymphatic malformations of the upper aerodigestive tract. Radiofrequency ablation achieves effective debulking of microcysts whilst avoiding excessive bleeding and thermal damage to surrounding tissues. This paper constitutes the first report of successful treatment of airway obstruction due to paediatric laryngopharyngeal microcystic disease, using radiofrequency ablation.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr J Goswamy, Specialist Registrar in Otolaryngology, Department of Paediatric Otolaryngology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK Fax: +44 (0)161 701 5627 E-mail:


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Presented at the 10th International Congress of the European Society of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 5–8 June 2010, Pamplona, Spain



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Radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of paediatric microcystic lymphatic malformations

  • J Goswamy (a1), S E Penney (a1), I A Bruce (a1) and M P Rothera (a1)


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