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Percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy of venous malformations of the tongue

Philip L Johnson, Donald A Eckard, Marci A Brecheisen, Douglas A Girod, Terrence T Tsue
AJNR. American Journal of Neuroradiology 2002, 23 (5): 779-82

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy has been reported to be efficacious for head and neck venous malformations. We sought to evaluate the safety and efficacy of percutaneous sclerotherapy by using ethanol for treatment of symptomatic venous malformations of the tongue.

METHODS: Eleven sclerotherapy procedures were performed in seven patients from January 1995 to February 2001. Patient age ranged from 19 months to 57 years (mean age, 32 years). Four patients were male and three were female. Mean follow-up was 36 months. The volume of ethanol used per treatment session ranged from 2 to 32 cc (mean, 16 cc).

RESULTS: Sclerotherapy provided significant improvement or resolution of symptoms for all patients. There were no major complications. One patient had a small (3 x 2 cm) area of skin blistering at the injection site. All patients experienced pain and swelling to a variable degree. Sclerotherapy resulted in resolution of symptoms in six of seven patients. Three patients had resolution of symptoms after one procedure. Four patients each underwent two sclerotherapy procedures. One patient who remained symptomatic but improved after undergoing two procedures underwent an anterior glossectomy and is now asymptomatic.

CONCLUSION: Percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy is a safe and effective method of treating symptomatic venous malformations of the tongue.

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