Lymphocytopenia in children with lymphatic malformation

Richard M. Tempero, Mark Hannibal, Laura S. Finn, Scott C. Manning, Michael L. Cunningham, Jonathan A. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether an immunologic abnormality exists in patients with lymphatic malformation (LM). Design: Retrospective case series. Setting: Tertiary care pediatric hospital. Patients: Twenty-one consecutive patients (11 male and 10 female) undergoing LM treatment. Interventions: Clinical data (ie, age, clinical LM stage, radiographic appearance, and histologic findings) were correlated with complete blood cell count and detailed lymphocyte differential. Complete blood cell counts and lymphocyte subsets were measured in 21 and 18 patients, respectively. Results: The average age at the time of testing was 67 months (range, 1-231 months). The patients were categorized according to LM stage, including 4 (19%) with stage 1, 4 (19%) with stage 2, 4 (19%) with stage 3, 7 (33%) with stage 4, and 2 (10%) with stage 5 disease. Radiographic LM appearance was macrocystic in 6 patients (29%), mixed macrocystic and microcystic in 8 (38%), and microcystic in 7 (33%). Complete blood cell count data demonstrated lymphocytopenia in 6 patients (29%). The results of the lymphocyte subset tests showed concomitant T-, B-, and natural killer (NK)-cell deficiency in 6 (33%) of 18 patients. All 6 patients with T-cell lymphocytopenia had normal neutrophil and platelet counts. Spearman rank and χ2 analyses showed that LM stage 4 or 5 and microcystic LM were significantly associated with lymphocytopenia (P=.002 and P=.008, respectively). Histologic analysis did not demonstrate increased lymphocytes in any LM specimens. Conclusion: We found T, B, and NK lymphocytopenia in patients with large bilateral or microcystic LM. Although the relationship between lymphocytopenia and infection was not addressed in this study, the recognition of lymphocytopenia in patients with LM may have important clinical and prognostic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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