Abdominal lymphangioma in adults and children




Abdominal lymphangioma is a rare tumour usually classified with mesenteric and retroperitoneal cysts. This experience of abdominal lymphangiomas contrasts the differences between tumours in children and adults.


Between 1970 and 1996, six patients had surgical resection of an abdominal lymphangioma.


There were three children aged 4 years or less and three adults aged 36–76 years. Two children presented with an acute abdomen and one with a rapidly enlarging abdominal girth. Lymphangiomas were located in the mesentery and gastrointestinal tract. In adults, symptoms lasted from months to years and lymphangiomas were found in the pancreas, spleen and retroperitoneum.


In this series, abdominal lymphangioma presented more acutely in children and usually involved the mesentery, whereas in adults the history was longer and the tumour was found in the retroperitoneum. © 1998 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd